Codie Elaine Brooks
Fort Worth, Texas - Marketing
For days I avoided him. Of course I called. I love him, but we both
knew. He didnít want to see me and I didnít want to see him. I worked, I
packed, and I called on occasion. He worked and tried to ignore me. My
departure had been anticipated for years and was absolutely unavoidable.
The event itself was joyous and quite necessary. It was the days leading
up to it that we both dreaded. During those days, I stopped by on
occasion but never stayed long. We chatted about the things I would
need, whether or not I was excited, and to whom I had said goodbye.
Finally, the night before my last day, he said to me, ďYou donít have to
come over. I donít think I can take it.Ē I didnít speak; I cried. I
cried for how much Iíd miss him, and for the days, weeks, and months
heíd be alone, and I cried for the minute that I would actually walk out
the door and the certainty that Iíd see my own father cry.
Was it that this man could not cry in
front of his daughter or maybe that he should not cry at all? Of course
not. It was the thought that I would be causing it. It was the pain in
knowing that if I did not leave Texas, I would be settling for an
education either at predominately white institution or a black
institution beneath the prestige of Howard University. However, if I did
leave, I would be potentially damaging my relationship with my mentor,
my friend, my father.
In no way is this fifty-one year-old
man perfect. Even when I hate him I love him. When heís sarcastic,
ignores my inquiries, asks me too many questions, or just asks the wrong
question at the wrong time, I love him. He didnít always come to every
game or track meet or graduation (on time), but he tried. I wasnít
always with him when it was important to him and he probably doesnít
know that I love him as much as I do. But I do cry without him and he
knows that, I worry about him and he knows that, and most of all I
listen to him. He sees that.
I am definitely my fatherís daughter.