27. Tribute to Dads – Father’s Day 2009

Posted: June 20, 2009 in African American, family, fathers, Uncategorized
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FathersFootprints is proud to provide you with short essays and poetry for Father’s Day 2009.  Guest contributors provide insight into why they love dad.  Enjoy.

Entry #1 – David Greenwood

My dad is my HERO! Always has been & always will be. Why? Because he’s ALWAYS been there for me. Not to bail me out but to give me what I needed when I needed it most. Advice? Got it good. Money? Not without a lesson learned. Love? Unconditional. Positive examples of what a man should be? Every single day. My dad? Priceless.

In his older age, he takes care of my mother without a moment’s hesitation. At 78 years young he is the MOST loving grandfather to all his grand kids ranging from my 4 year old Lauren to my brothers 30 year old Joy. He has made footprints that are clearly defined and easy to follow because of the lessons he taught us. I get somewhat emotional when I think of the sacrifices my dad made in order for me to have a quality life. He took me to baseball & basketball practice EVERYDAY and NEVER missed a game! He drove a million miles to come see me play in college. I gave him my MHSAA 1985 State Championship medal (the first one) on the floor of Crisler Arena because of HIS commitment to me and making certain I got to & from practice every day/every night.

I know everyone thinks that their dad is the greatest but I have to say that my dad is simply a GREAT father and I love him for that.

David, wife Lisa and their daughter

David, wife Lisa and their daughter

David Greenwood, a Detroit native, is a firefighter with the Birmingham, MI Fire Department.  He is a graduate of Lake Superior State University where he attended on a full athletic scholarship.  David is married to Lisa (Maxwell) Greenwood and they have one child.


 Entry #2 – Lisa Lipscomb

“Where do you see yourself in 6 months? 1 year? 5 – 10 years? You need short and long term goals. You have to plan for the future.” I remember these words flowing from conversations my Dad shared on numerous occasions. In fact, I remember my Dad most for two different things. The first was asking questions, he wanted my brother and I to think, about the past, present and future. He wanted to know what we knew so that he could fill in the gaps of our not knowing and he did that well. The second thing I remember happening often were his lectures. He was famous for giving advice, whether solicited or not. My brother Phillip and I had to sit and listen as he told us about his experiences, what he expected from us and his perspective on the world around us. My cousins laughed and others felt seemingly sorry for us because of the length of time and frequency in which the lecturing occurred. Based on what others said, I thought I was being tortured at times. According to what I know now, those moments were my Dad’s contribution to us. He was investing time and knowledge in his offspring. Those streaming words were his dreams and prayers for a better future and hope for an informed set of siblings. He always reminded us of the importance that we do better than he and my Mom. We had more opportunities and he clearly wanted us to take advantage of them. He did not accept excuses and had high expectations, all the time.

He was pouring the concrete that would become our foundation. He was building a bridge between where we stood and the land of opportunity that is unending, unlimited and as close as the next breath we can take. Education reigned supreme in our home. “I am a life-long learner,” he’d say. Have you noticed I’m always taking classes or learning something new?” He reminded me time after time that it was the route I should also take. I frowned at the thought of always being in school. My God, I thought. Is it that serious? I’m tired of school. Who in their right mind would willingly continue taking classes? I laugh as I remember those moments, especially now that I have been a public school teacher for the past 14 years. I share this timeless advice with my children and my students. They usually have one of two reactions. The first is that they’ll sit back and listen. The second reaction is grumbling. Grumbling at the thought that school and learning could possibly go on forever- as a child, I was a grumbler.

As I begin my fourth decade of life, I am happy to call myself a lifelong learner. I set a goal to do something new and fulfilling every month. Over time, I’ve learned that one thing a month isn’t enough. It could be as simple as trying a new restaurant, walking the track at a park at a new park or trying a new skill. I tool swimming lessons for the first time just before I turned 40 last fall. My Dad transitioned from this life 12 years ago at the age of 48. He passed on from complications due to colon cancer. His final lesson was just as important as the ones he drilled in my head when I was a young girl. Take care of yourself, stay on top of your health. Eat correctly, exercise regularly and if something isn’t right, go to the doctor. There is a part of me that feels Dad thought he was invincible. He served the military by going to Vietnam and making it back home. He started as a fireman in the city of Detroit and worked up that career ladder until he served as a Captain in the Training Academy. He won many battles throughout his life. He told me, even when I could see that he was losing his battle with cancer, that he was getting better and he’d be alright. In truth, he was letting go of this time and space, moving closer to God and that does make everything all right.

Lisa with her late father, Phillip

Lisa with her late father, Phillip

Lisa is a school teacher for the Detroit Public School system.  She has a BA from the University of Michigan and a MA from Marygrove College.  She has three children.  Lisa is a published poet.  Her first book is entitled, Somewhere in the Middle of Love. http://books.google.com/books?id=_fJWfdmiXN4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=lisa+a+lipscomb


Entry #3 –  Kelley Terrell

I have some very fond memories of my dad. When I look back, I didn’t realize it then, but he was giving me a guide to life and how to maneuver. My mom died when I was in 5th grade. I admire the fact that he did not give me to a family member to raise me. He decided he would do it himself.  Now this was not easy for him or me. He had a funny way of showing his love. He also had a strange way of explaining life’s issues. My adolescent years were rough without a mother to understand certain female emotions and feelings.

Once my dad died I soon realized that all the things he used to say were true. Life is not a bed of roses; no one owes you anything; you better go get what you want and never wait on anyone else’s ship to come in; wait on your own.    

I truly treasure all of the life teachings and lectures he gave me. I never realized just how important each of those lessons were until I was living on my own without any parents trying to make it in this world with no guidance. Well one thing is for sure God never left my side and he helped me to remember the things that my dad taught me. All that he couldn’t do he gave me the tools of life to be able to handle them myself. I know you’re in heaven still watching over me. Happy Fathers Day, Love Kelly

Kelley attended Bennett College in North Carolina.  She is currently developing a magazine for adolescents entitled, Everything Tween.


Entry #4 – Gail Rene’e Morrow


Depressed and empty

The missing link

Nights gone sleepless

Unable to think

Unexpected absence

Taken away by surprise

Here today…then gone tomorrow

Right before my very eyes

Continuous tears

I can’t seem to stop

From the endless days

Of undying thoughts

A heart so heavy

Weighed down by the pain

Upset by the devastating phases

Of life’s common change

A chair unoccupied

One less dinner prepared

Minus one less listener

From a story to share

A replay of last words

A recall of laughter

Snapped photographs cherished

From moments captured

A stroll down memory lane

To bring about a smile

A smile turned to sadness

From a sudden fatherless child

The tears, the tears…

They just continue to flow

From a heartbroken daughter

That needs a healing for her soul

If I could just be selfish

Bring him back for one more day

I’d wrap my arms around him

So much love I would display

I’d constantly tell him that I love him

And shower him with praise

Of how such a wonderful dad and provider

He was to the very last days

I’d take advantage

Of every minute with him here on this earth

For a father and daughter relationship

Is everything that it’s worth

So I’ll see you soon daddy

Never forgotten, will you be

You were the best daddy in the whole wide world

And everything to me!

I miss you daddy, Happy Father’s Day!

Entry #5 – Charles Shaper

“By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.” Both of my Dads were there and they both did Great Jobs. I Iove them both dearly.

FathersFootprints Family, Watch and Listen to this with my dads and I.

Don’t forget a Father’s Day gift!  Find great gifts for dad at Brookstone.com.

Until next time,

Damon signature


  1. rachelaraya says:

    I loved the short essays, the poetry, and the video. My Daddy just moved to Texas. Detroit misses him. And I do too. Thanks for sharing your intimate moments with your Dads. My favorite thing to do with my Daddy is the Motown style ballrooming dance. I just want to dance with my father again!

  2. Mike says:

    Happy Fathers Day to all that provided essays and poems. They were all enlightening. Those who’s dad is no longer with us, we say a special prayer for you on this day.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I too lost my daddy some time ago. There is an empty space that will never be filled until I see him again. Great poem.


  4. Rashad says:

    Good stuff Damon

  5. Kathy Hernandez says:

    Kelly you are a very strong woman and father did just fine raising you. I lost the man that I only knew as Dad in 2006 and it wasn’t until he was gone that I understood his method of raising me & I am so glad he did what he did cause just as your father gave you guidelines of life mine did too!!!

  6. keshia N. says:

    This was so nice. I enjoyed reading this blog. I must say Kelley you have a testimony. You are strong woman. I hope you share your story cause there are alot of single dads raising daughters.

  7. Craig says:

    I enjoyed reading this blog… makes me think about my old man. He passed when I was 13 leaving me to be the man of the household. I had 6 sisters and 1 brother. I had to help my mom out in a big way. So I feel you Ms Kelley. I would hate for something to happen to me and leave my baby girl here without me. Thats why I try my best to teach my daughters everything I know about life. For that same reason .. may God bless the fatherless.

  8. Melanie says:

    such courage it takes to continue on this journey without a living father. i too, manage to obtain from various others only pieces of what my dad was able to give me. i miss him dearly. damon, you have chosen a topic that doesn’t get enough attention. the people in houston texas are spreading the word about your writing. i heard about if from a co-worker. looking forward to more, more, more. blessings

  9. Alton B. Gunn says:

    I remember being younger and thinking that my dad was the greatest man in the world. I was in 3rd grade and at that time Brian was my “best friend”. We used to call him Shorty Brian. Brian’s dad was about 6’3 and my dad was 5’11. However, there was nothing I thought his dad could do better than mine and vice versa.

    Shorty Brian and I used to have lively debates about our dads, like they were Superheroes. During one debate, Brian challenged my resolve when he asked me if my dad could beat Spiderman. I told him that my dad would not only beat him but rap him in his own web. I came back on him, asking if he thought his dad could beat The Incredible Hulk. He said his dad would make the Hulk look like David Banner. His next inquisition was whether or not I thought my dad could beat Superman. I told him that my dad would make Superman wish he had some Kryptonite. He quickly cut into me again, as if a light had gone off in his mind saying: “…ooh, ooh I know: CAN YOUR DAD BEAT…. Mohamed Ali?” There was a long silent moment 5 seconds; 10 seconds…Then I said “I don’t know but he’d whoop Joe Frazier!” Shorty Brian said “yeahhhhh my dad would tear Joe Frazier up too” (Mohamed Ali was the Greatest)

    You see the bond between a true father and his child or children is borderless. It is a human’s first impression of a pillar of security, strength, firmness, safety and knowledge. My dad provided for me, showed me guidance, integrity and kept me grounded. He was my baseball coach, Boy Scout leader and buddy. We did things that mom just didn’t do, like sports, riding the motor cycle, etc. Don’t get me wrong, my mom was loving, nurturing, supportive, and kind, etc – but this part of the piece is about dads and their ubiquitous influence on their children’s paradigms.

    I use to think that I loved my parents more than anything. However, after having my daughter, I am sure that if my dad feels about me the way that I feel about her, then I could never love him as much as he must love me! It makes me think about one of my favorite Bible verses: 1st Corinthians:

    “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.

    Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
    Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will all pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.

    When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love”.

    As I embark upon my 41st birthday and approach my 8th Father’s Day as a parent, realize more and more how important love is in life. Life is love. The undaunted and unconditional desire to be and to exist: to have joy, happiness and prosperity. To give life, share your life and enhance the lives of others.

    All that being said – I love being alive and being a father. So, this Birthday and Father’s Day are synergetic in my universe. Personally, the faith that I have in my ability to achieve anything, combined with hope that my child and I will continue to be healthy in all categories as well as everything being personified in the pure joy of the love abide (the ultimate charity) associated with parenthood makes me happy. However, I realize that I am no more or less special than anyone else and/or their children/families. That’s what makes it wonderful. That’s why I smile and try to make my awesome joy contagious, through as many mediums of communication as afforded to me. Which, emphatically, is another form of love abide. And Friendship is essential to the soul.

    If I could suggest something to you and particularly any father that loves their families; I’d say: Exude manhood, love, uplift, unify and persevere. Allow your vision in your personal endeavors to be acute and when analyzing the rest of the world allow your vision to be obtuse. Be open minded, while always standing on your morals, values and integrity. Deal with every situation for what it really is. Remember that everyday is an opportunity to discover more beauty in all aspects of your life. Everyday is another chance for you to improve the quality of life for yourself and your family. Embrace the day and seize the moment. AND have a Happy Father’s Day!

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