The cab driver asks if I’m going to see my father today. The question both irritates and surprises me for America would have you think that Black people don’t have fathers Mr. Indian Cab Driver.
“Why do you want to know?” I ask.
“It’s father’s day.” He replies.
It’s been a long time now since my father passed away - it was three weeks after my college graduation. I remember sitting in the hospital thinking of things to ask him so that I wouldn’t have any regrets later. Now nearly a decade later, this cab driver has activated my thoughts about what a conversation with my father would be like today.
I had just turned 30ty and so much had changed. I wondered what it would have been like if my father was at my wedding, witnessed the purchase of me and my husband’s first house, my first promotion, my first lay off, the advice he would have offered to me as I struggled through my twenties, what it would have felt like for him to be a grandfather, what goals and aspirations he would have had for himself and dreams for me.
I recently realized that I don’t have many Black friends who share my experience of growing up with not just a father, a loving one. My father taught me how to read, cook, wash clothes, (that’s probably why I still mix colors and whites) drive, stand up for myself and occasionally he even braided my hair. To me he was the best father I could have asked for.
I finally replied to the cab driver that my father had passed away so no I wasn’t going to see him. He quickly apologized and said that his dad did too…