Brother's Gonna Work It Out - A Father's Day Message.
June 16, 2006

What's up Family,

Thanks to so many folks that emailed me back wishing my wife and I a happy 8th anniversary. And double thanks to those that emailed me back with your own pearls of wisdom on how you made your marriage work. I had no idea the can of inspiration that I opened up when I gave my own ingredients for marriage. Knowing I don't know nearly half there is to know, considering I'm relatively new to the game, I thank the marriage OG's for giving me your pearls.

We're just days away from what might be the most unheralded holiday in the black community - Father's Day. Never has there been a holiday that evokes such emotion. I have to admit, I haven't had the most memorable Father's Day myself. Like so many, my mom raised my brother and I while my father was out doing what he was doing. Not around much. My uncle Ronnie picked up most of the slack, being the male role model in me and my brother's life. My relationship with my father was pretty strained. Cussed him out a few times. Promised to never speak to him again. We all know the drill. But over the years, as I began to get older, I began to focus less on what I thought was a monster and more on the man. He listened to my pain. I listened to his. I found out about his life. His own abandonment from his father. How his mother gave him to be raised by his grandmother. I began to understand that he couldn't do better because he didn't know better. Not that he got a pass, but at least I could understand. It didn't happen overnight, but slowly our relationship began to change. We started to talk more. He started making it his business to come out to California and visit me. Even flew to Vegas when I was living there. When I got married, I had him say the prayer at our wedding. You can imagine how well that went over with my mother.

Last time he came out to California, my father took me to a baseball game to see Barry Bonds, who was in town playing against the Dodgers. It was the first game I ever remember going to. Then, we came home, hopped on our ten speeds and rode up and down the street. You can probably imagine how ridiculous it looked for a forty year old man, and a sixty five year old man to be riding bikes up and down the street like kids. I swear, Lyn must have laughed till she hurt herself. But as ridiculous as it was, it was a little boy and his Dad making up for some lost time and lost years. Before he left, we all prayed together, he cried, thanking God for giving him back his youngest son. In life, you can't change the beginning, but you can change the ending.

To all the Father's out there, love your sons and daughters. If you're in their lives, stay there. If you're not, fight like hell to get back. Cause no matter how much we may act like we don't care, we do care. We want you in our lives, and we need you in our lives.

To my father, James Talbert, and to fathers all around the world... Happy Father's Day!