For several weeks now, I’ve been mulling over what to write for Father’s Day and rejecting each idea that surfaced. I was undecided and a little conflicted about what to share — I like to keep private the few memories I have of him.
Sixteen years since he passed, I still think about my father quite a bit. Sometimes I hear an item on the news and wonder what he’d have to say about it.
I have no doubt, for example, that he’d be watching cricket and talking back to the television as if that would help the performance of the current West Indies team.
We’d both be older now and moving into different roles. I wonder what our relationship would have been like. Would he let me fuss over him? Would he still be the same jovial person I remember?
Because of his job, my father traveled extensively around the island and overseas. Sometimes as I drive around now, I wonder what it would have been like having him as my co-pilot. I know it would have been fun to see the country from his perspective and share mine with him. I would have loved, for example, to have him show me his favorite places, the ones that were near to his heart, and meet some of his old friends.
I’d have been especially touched to have him show me the place that molded him into the man he became. From the stories I’ve heard over the years, his childhood home in the cool hills of Clarendon was a lovely place to grow up. Standing in the shade of a breadfruit or a mango tree, I would have loved to hear the stories again. This time, the images I’d created in my mind of where the yam hills were or the spot where the little shop used to be, and the school where he developed his thirst for learning would be replaced by new pictures with smells and sounds built in. I know there’d be at least one person whose house we’d have to stop at so he could say hello. And we wouldn’t have left without finding a bar to have a drink.
So on this Father’s Day, I remember Ken and wish, like Luther Vandross sang in this song, that I could have one more Dance With My Father.