"Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes." ~Gloria Naylor
I saw this quote and immediately thought of my grandmother, Nellie Booker Demps. During the last few months that she was in the nursing home, Jon and I would go to visit her. We took our laptop full of old photos of her family members, and we would show them to her. Even with Alzheimer's disease taking quite a toll, she remembered most of the names of the people in the photographs. Inevitably, we would come around to this photo:
And as soon as his face flashed on the screen, she would say, "That's my daddy, Joe Booker!" Even at 94 years old, he was still her "daddy." I don't know a lot about Joe Booker's life - mostly that he suffered the loss of his wife when she was only 34 years old - but he must have been something special to Nellie for her to speak his name with such love, almost 30 years after his passing.
Unfortunately, many of us don't have ideals relationships with our fathers. In fact, searching through my family tree for an especially good example of fatherhood revealed too many dysfunctional fathers! As I have searched for my ancestors, I have found that one thing is certain: fathers WILL be remembered. It is up to them to live their lives such that they will leave behind a legacy of honor and love. May all men have the desire to earn the love and respect of their daughters, sons, and wives, so that their names will be praised for generations after they are gone.