Hey, Dad

It's me your daughter, Linda. I found out around five years old that you are deceased.  Back then, I didn't know if it was a joke or just a way for no one to tell me about you. Growing up watching my mother suffer without you physically truly harden me. 

There were countless times, that I wanted YOU to be there for me when my mother couldn't be. I wondered if you would have accepted me as your own. 

I heard from my mother as an adolescent that once you passed away, that your family took everything from her that she could have had for me. I was scared to ask questions about you to my mother because I didn't know how she would react.

My auntie Beulah said that no one ever knew my mother was even pregnant with me, until the day she went into labor in the back yard. But, she is known for lying. I don't know if my mother was ashamed of being pregnant or just being a widow. Something tells me, that it could have been a combination of them both. Now as I vent with tears streaming down my face I feel relief. 

Daddy, I always wanted you to be there for me! I always wanted YOU to be there to take me away from the pain. I was bullied and teased, so much growing up in little ole' Napoleonville that I wanted to take my own life. 

I needed you! In fact, I thought that you would have been my superhero like Superman; on the days I was being humiliated about where I came from. There were many days, I went without eating and thoughts about you filled my imagination. Thoughts of you fed my hunger, mentally. I remember suffering those days in silence. I suffered until, I fell in love with a man named, Jesus at seven years old. 

Daddy, I was baptized.

Falling in love with Jesus, changed me. I learned that stretching my hands to God in praise when things were out of my control made me feel good. In Jesus' arms, I feel protected. In Jesus, arms I never feel disconnected. Jesus gave me the protection that no man could have given or given me. Falling in love with Him was the best life changing decision I ever made. I thank my mother for placing me in the church. 

I was baptized as Beautiful Zion Baptist Church. My life had gotten difficult after seven years old. I had to help raise my sister and brother and teach them how to read and write. Of course, my mother needed all the help that she could have gotten from me.

 By the time I hit my teenage years, I started searching for love. I wanted to be somebody's girlfriend and their future wife. Let me tell you, daddy, I went through a lot of heartaches. 

I became resentful and no longer wanted to be at home. I was getting attention from guys that use to never look my way. I felt like I was somebody.

 As a teenager, I made friendships with females that I would never forget. I lost my virginity and only wished you could have been around to talk to me about BOYS. I was really distant from my mother back then. I couldn't talk to her about boys, sex, and all the popping internet sites at the time like Myspace, Bebo, & Tag. 

I didn't feel a motherly connection with my mom. 

Making friends with other young girls who didn't have a father figure in their life, gave me life. I felt like I wasn't alone and that it was okay. It was finally okay to just have a single mother! Things started to change for me at the age of 15. I was raped and molested by some guys who were way older than me. I then blamed you for not being in my life!

 I NEEDED YOU!  (Well, I thought I did.)

It was crazy how my tear-stained pillowcase, became my teddy bear. I only had an ID photo of you to look at. I only had minutes to pull my damn self back together. It was time for me to act like nothing ever happened. It was time for me to love God, myself, and my journey.

I made it my mission to leave Napoleonville and to abandon the past. 

I did it all without you! I did it all with Jesus. You see daddy, he is a provider, a father to the fatherless, and a way maker! It's funny how you probably already knew I was born with a victorious soul too. I conquered some of the hardest years of my life, without you and with Jesus! I learned that I didn't need you as much as I thought I did. I found my inner strength to push forward. I moved on from not only from that small town but from your absence in my life. 

But, God has been real good to me!

Your baby girl graduated from high school with a mother, who couldn't read or write. Your baby girl, married an amazing man two and a half years ago, who has changed her forever. My husband and I often talk about, how you would have reacted to him asking you for my hand in marriage? It's truly an eye-opening conversation to even talk about you.

I wonder what traits of your personality do I favor? I wonder if I will ever see your grave sight? There are so many questions that have been left unanswered, but I am sure it is for good reasoning. 

I want you to know that even if you would have not accepted me as your own that I would have made it without you. So, far I'm happy that I never met you. I'm happy that you were never around. My life and my struggles would have never turned out the way that they are today. My God makes no mistakes. Thank you for watching me and being my guardian angel. I love you. I'm good. God's good.


Your daughter
Smokie Norful, 'Um Good'

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