My dad was smarter than me despite never having the luxury of collegiate life. I admired his love of learning. When we watched Jeopardy together, it was slightly embarrassing when he would easily get answers that I had no clue about.
Of course I excelled in areas he never did (i.e sports) yet even though we weren’t super close, I gained strong values from his structured life, witty nature, work ethic and being a good man.
He would tell you that he wasn’t the best dad and truth be told.... I wasn’t the best son but we ended well. Looking back, we were both petty in the way we sometimes treated one another.
Just before I got married, he took me to lunch and clearly was searching for how he performed as a Father. I told him that he was a ”good man who did his best and someone the family could count on to always be there for me and my Mom.” My parents had immense marital struggles, yet each took care of me beautifully despite their challenges; something I’m deeply grateful for.
Considering the poverty my dad grew up with, along with difficult life experiences that I can’t even imagine, he made himself into an interesting and fun man. He also had a wide group of friends, volunteered and usually had a hand out for those less fortunate.
This picture on this blog post was from 2004; a year after his stroke at age 72 and eight months before he died at age 73.
At our 2003 wedding, his speech was touching as I could tell that he was proud of me and happy to have a good relationship with his only son.
Happy Father’s Day to Donald L. Payne and all the father's in my life who like my dad are doing (or did) the best that they can.
|Mom Isabella, Dad, Reggie and Me - Thanksgiving 2004|