My dad passed away in the early ’80s but I still have memories of him. Most are good ones that make me smile, if not chuckle. My pops was a tall, slender, brown-skinned man with a small waistline, a little round derriere, broad shoulders and a smile that lit up the room. To me, that made him sexy and as I look at the reflection in my mirror, I see a tall, slender, light-skinned woman with a small waistline line, a little round derriere, broad shoulders and a smile that lights up a room… and all I can say is, I get it from my daddy. (haha) Thanks, Dad!
Along with his features, mom says our personalities are much alike. I take that as a compliment in that we are intelligent, witty and strong individuals. What I will remember the most about him is that he taught me to be my own best friend. My dad taught me how to be independent of others and to be comfortable with myself. Who knew then it would be the greatest gift of all?
I don’t know why some girls enjoy spending time with their moms more than their dads, but I found my dad easy to talk to and interesting to be around. Most of the time, he was working with his hands, doing things like fixing on the car, carving an image out of a tree branch, hammering a wall or floor or slicing a watermelon. What can I say? One of my favorite scents is that of sawdust. Yeah, I know, it’s strange but hey, I’m my daddy’s child… I’m different!
My dad was always attempting to improve things around the house or about himself as he always expressed the desire to read and to learn about world events and other places around us. We all know that reading takes us places no other hobby could. Reading meant I would visit other places but never leave my bedroom. Maybe it’s what inspired my passion for travel.
When I read books about other people, I knew about other people but they didn’t know me. It was as though I was a part of the story but invisible at the same time; however, I was smarter than most of those adults in the book. Some of the characters did some of the dumbest things ever so I learned what not to do in life through reading their “true stories.” I was hooked on reading books and in doing so, I improved my creative ability, reading and writing skills, which gave me better grades in school. So, overall, it was a strategy that paid off for both my father and me.
Reading allowed me to enjoy time alone as well as writing did. I also like keeping my hands busy and creating things – that doesn’t require any company either. All of those things, however, give me a sense of worth and accomplishment. With that said, I want to thank my dad for giving me the opportunity to get to know myself and develop into the woman I am today.
I pride myself in being able to fix my car, lay tile and hammer a nail straight in. I’m comfortable with being by myself and that’s okay. Some people can’t be alone because they don’t know how. I’m thankful that my dad gave me the gift of independence as it lasts a lifetime. I appreciate the ability to work alone, stand alone and to be my own best friend.
Mikki Donalson is a southern girl, born in “hard time Mississippi.” She, like her town, has seen many hurricanes but have bounced back each time. Mikki is really no different from any other person with a passion, late to bed and early to rise. The writer is a mother, daughter, and grandmother who adores her family and seeks to leave her mark on this remarkable and changing world