VETTE’S VEGAS VOICE: Happy Father’s Day, Daddy
BY YVETTE WILLIAMS
I want to wish all of the wonderful dads a very happy Father’s Day, with a special shout out to my incredible husband, Damone. Thank you for being the love of my life, raising such wonderful children, and setting a great example of what their expectations should be in their own life partner. I love you deeply, and appreciate all that you do for us.
When I was growing up, I remember watching the beautiful relationship my best friend had with her father. It was so unlike my relationship with mine, which was often strained. My father moved out of state after a bad divorce during my high school years. My mother was fed up with his drinking — and frankly, so did I. Alcohol made him abusive and he wasn’t the wonderfully talented, and caring man he was without the alcohol. Over the years my father sought help, recovered from his addiction, and we found our way back to enjoying many wonderful years together until he passed away in 1988. The damage to his liver had taken a toll on his health.
This Father’s Day I think about my dad — the demons he faced, and the struggles he overcame. It wasn’t easy living in a time where the color of your skin often defined how you were treated, and how well you could provide for your family. He was a proud man, and I’ll never forget the evening I found my father in the garage, weeping at his workstation. He was a man with lots of dreams, and I watched him erode as he tried to grasp each one. For the first time in my life I understood him. I believe he thought he failed us — and was drinking to escape.
I regret that my dad did not live to see how much he truly gave to each of his children, his entrepreneurial spirit and who we each became. There is no doubt that because of him I realize life ain’t easy and you must make difficult decisions in life. I learned how to forgive, and realize that not everything is as simple as “black and white” — there are grays in many shades. I learned that fighting for what you believe in is always worth it in the end. One thing is certain: in life we don’t choose our fathers. But if we’re lucky, we all get a second chance.
Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.
Yvette Williams is a community advocate and founder of the Clark County Black Caucus. Read her blog at www.YvetteBWilliams.com, follow her on Twitter @YvetteBWilliams, and send email to ClarkCountyBlackCaucus@gmail.com.