By “Tony the Barber”
When I was a boy of about 8 or 9 years old, I thought about what it would be like to be a father one day. I looked into the sky and asked God how many children he was going to give me, what they were going to look like, and what they were going to become.
I wanted to become a real father, just like Pinocchio wanted to become a real boy – realizing that I had to have a real life, with a wife, and be responsible.
My question to God was, “How do you get a wife?” and he said, “I will bring her to you and you will marry her.” I thought I heard him chuckling as he said that my wife would tell me the secret of how to have real children. I smiled to myself and went on my merry way.
Many years later, I was given five healthy and handsome sons. Being content with my boys, I was quite surprised a few years later when another baby was on the way. On delivery day when my little girl – Sylvia “Denae” – entered the world, there was no life or movement in her. I did not want to panic and show her mother that I was fearful and crying in my heart. I just kept saying to my baby, “Daddy loves you” over and over again – and she came to life. And from that moment, oh what a bond we have had.
My little girl is now a young lady in high school. She teaches the children at her church and she tells me, “Dad, I love my kids.” And those kids love her; in fact, everyone loves my daughter. She tells me that one day she is going to be a real mom. Now I’m the one chuckling.
Denae fills our life with laughter, hugs, kisses and unconditional love. She cooks for us, and likes going places with her brothers. My son, Dallas, asked me one day how we would manage when Denae goes off to college. I told him to just enjoy what he has now, and love her every day.
Each night Denae kisses and hugs us all good night. She never misses her routine, even if she is tired or bogged down with homework. She is our Snow White, and we are her dwarves.
It has been a privilege to be a father to Jonathan, Brandon, Dallas, Tony Jr., Andrew – and of course my love, my little Snow White. One day I will let her go, and place her hand in the hand of her real prince.
And one day I will have to let go of her warm and tender heart as I close my eyes and take my last breath to be with my Father in Heaven…but she will always be my Snow White.
Happy Father’s Day!