Paul Nehemiah Jeffries
Let me begin by saying that although I'm a senior citizen; I feel like the young girl who adored her Daddy and now has to say farewell to him for he now belongs to the ages. Oh Pop, God speed and bless and take care of your spirit for during your lifetime you took care of and assisted so many others on this journey. Our last conversation, several days ago, was over shared news that was humorous and we expressed how good it was to hear the other one laugh. You left us so quickly but I will remember until my final transition; the exchange before we ended the call. 'I love you Pop' and 'I love you too..take care'.
This is a re-posting of my 6/26/2011 Father's Day Tribute:
Father's Day is upon us with all the advertising associated with those special moments the day will bring. In fact so much so that I got my Sundays confused. So--I'm a little early with the tribute. With that said, my thoughts have been on stepfathers in particular for sometimes they get a "bad rap". Just like the evil stepmother, this particular group has had some bad press over the years. Some--deservedly so and others who don't get the praise afforded to them like the "real" ones. My stepfather is a member of the latter. Mr. Paul Jeffries..I call him "Pop" and I call him love.
He came into my life during early adolescence when a young precocious girl with an independent mother needed an intervention from a strong, principled man. There was some resistance at first. I wasn't too happy about running to my mother's side during the night after a nightmare or a thunderous storm and being turned away because of this "person" who now shared her bed. Time and unconditional love served us well and he was my pop for life. He was strict and at times compassionate when discipline/punishment weren't the best options.
I appreciate this song, 'Dance With My Father Again' by Luther and although my father is still living--age compromises our ability to dance together again. However, I will always remember when we danced at my debutante ball sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. My Pop is from a working class background, highly intelligent and could handle a conversation with the best of them. We "showed out" in a sophisticated manner that night. ^◡^ You were magnificent Pop. Mama sat beaming as we were presented and walked down that excruciatingly long aisle. I truly felt like a princess that night..though. *sigh*
Our last telephone conversation was rather difficult. He was refusing the benefits of a listening device at that time and I'm not sure of how much he heard. I was informed recently, that my sister finally convinced and accompanied him for a fitting. He's still complaining about it and will not wear it at times. Cards, gifts and letters are nice, but calling him is best. I will raise my pitch, if needed--so he can hear how much I love him and appreciated his role in becoming the accomplished woman I am today.
Happy Father's Day to the "Birth Dads" and to those who admirably took on that role and of course, that includes the Granddads and Uncles!!