I’d like to introduce the “While They Can Still Smell Them” Series. First entry, To My Father
Daddy’s girl, straight out of the womb, so I’m told. The first born of four. Chris and Sharon’s oldest baby. Stories have been told of me crying every time my mother even touched my father in the slightest bit because I didn’t want to share daddy. He cut his hair one time and it tickled me to pieces as a child. Somehow every time Baby Rae’ tossed and turned in the bed, her little foot slid right down the back of dad’s shorts, startling him out of his sleep. To Christopher D. Cooper Sr. My loving and devoted father. The man that can fix anything TO THIS DAY! This is me giving you your flowers while you can still smell them.
As a child, you never realize the importance of having a father in your household. He was there and he was active. The leader of the household. The provider. I remember elementary school days when Dad would pick us up from school and we’d sit in the car at his job and wait for him to finish his shift. All of his coworkers knew the Cooper girls. They’d wave and speak and check on us from time to time. I remember times when Dad would cook dinner.... and somehow, whatever he concocted actually turned out good lol. He’s the strong, silent type. At least that’s how he appears. Those that know him know he can be pretty funny and chatty. Always down for a conversation. Sometimes I felt like my Dad didn’t talk much, but I’ve grown to realize he got that from his father. It’s actually pretty amazing how similar they are.
To my Father. The man who showed me the first examples of how a man should treat a woman, simply off of how he treated my Mother. Through it all, they’ve always remained what we would call goals. We’ve seen some rough times as a family. Better than a lot of folks but rough none the less. My father made it his business to try and shield us from it all. Never let them see you sweat, he was basically the spokes person. He took care of business. When his mother passed, that’s probably the first time I’ve ever seen him shook. I had really never seen him cry before but seeing him like that made him seem that much more human. My superhero had gotten a taste of his Kryptonite. It shook him to the core. It shook us all. But I felt like I got to know him better through it all.
Very rarely did I see him completely angry. There have been times. That lion in those Leo’s is not to be tried. Trust me. Especially when it comes to his family. Just don’t play. The Lion will protect his own. We all got baptized together. He summoned his family to the front when he found his way back to the church. He’s a Deacon now. The day he was named Deacon was one of my favorite and most proud moments with my father. I know how hard he studied. I know how much work he put in. I got tired of hearing him listen to that tape recorder lol. But when Pastor said, “Deacon Christopher Cooper,” I was truly elated. He did it.
He’s been there for all my proud moments too. Being promoted. Graduations. Birthdays. Events. Business ventures. Music. Through it all, Dad was there to support. He was and is proud of his baby. Whatever it is I wanted to do, he’s always been right there giving me a thumbs up. I remember when I was in elementary school and I wanted to be a cheerleader. He told me to try out anyway even though they said I needed to know how to do a cartwheel. He took me to those try outs and he stood there and watched. Encouraging me along the way. I didn’t make the team. I cried my eyes out. But my Dad told me not to worry because I did my best and a trick untried is unjustified.
Always calm in the face of trouble. I remember when I fell down the stairs one time and sprained my ankle. Before I could even try to gather myself and call you, you were standing right there. When Cj tried running down the basement steps and fell, you made it to him before I could even come out my room. He literally landed at my door and before I could open the door you were right there. Breathe son. When mom recently had an episode and passed out, I was SHOOK. She wasn’t breathing and I was panicking. And there you were, calm as a cucumber, “Calm down Rae. Babe, I need you to breathe. Come on, can you hear me.” You know that’s a blessing right? That calm commanding spirit.
This post could literally go on forever. My Dad is amazing. I don’t know why it was on my heart to write this. It kind of just found its way into my spirit. But I will say this. To my father, as you fight this battle with your job issues and your disability claim, you have my complete and total support. Whatever I can do, consider it done. Find peace in knowing that whatever God has for you is enough. Don’t let this shake you. Your family is here. Standing firm. Sometimes the provider needs a little back up. We got you.
To my Daddy, with tons of love, that stretches to the moon and back an infinity of times. I love you. Thank you for continuously being an example and a light. My superhero. My role model. My Dad.