Desperate For My Father!
By Charles Skye (Guest Blogger)
I am the first of 5 children born to kind, strong, and hard-working “Mama Cosie Mae”, whose name literally means “cheerful and friendly.” I lost my mom a few months ago and am reminded everyday of her love and devotion to being both my mother and father during the challenging years of growing up in the south during the civil rights movement in a fatherless household. My siblings and myself do not share the same father and for that reason there was always a hole in my heart and longing to have some insight into my own identity and the knowledge of just who was my biological father.
One of my earliest memories still haunts me to this day when my mom loaded up my little sister into her then current husband’s car and took off for south Florida to make a new life without me. I could’t have been more than three years old, but the emotion and trauma of that painful scene is seared into the canvas of my mind. I can remember crying hysterically and crawling up under the house in disbelief that I was not included in this transition. What was wrong with me? Wasn’t I loved like my baby sister? She had a daddy…..couldn’t he be my daddy as well? All these emotions that I had no words for at the time, flooded my toddler brain. I was left with my aunt Geneva and my grandmother Kate, an abrasive and unaffectionate woman of large, yet beautiful stature. She was half Seminole Indian who lived with my grandfather Levi on the family homestead and farm. Thankfully, the kindness of my grandfather offset the severity of navigating life with my grandmother.
Time passed and I was reunited with my mother and baby sister and eventually, more husbands came on the scene and more siblings were born. Three more brothers entered my life but no father figure was to be found for me. I have to say that mom did a great job of teaching me how to be a strong male. She faithfully took me to the little country church where I learned about a loving God, my Heavenly Father, and about Jesus, who would always love me and who died for my sins. Intellectually, I could believe that I had this spiritual Father in heaven but the reality was, it was difficult to imagine a father who wouldn’t abandon me. The questions still troubled me……..who is my father? Why am I wearing the name of one of mom’s boyfriends who wasn’t even my biological father? Who am I really? I really disliked my name. People would ask me questions about individuals they knew with the same last name and wonder if I was related to them. It was so awkward to realize that I had no real relatives other than my mom and my half-siblings.
As a teenager, the discipline and focus that my mom had instilled in me paid off when I received a scholarship to play football at Alabama A&M. Mom and I were shopping for my school clothes for college when outside a little strip mall, mom spotted a man walking toward us. “That’s your father,” she calmly revealed. His name is Mr. Natiel. Emotions flooded me like a tsunami. During those moments I was speechless, but puzzle pieces began fitting together. Later, I recalled being in a grocery store when I ran into a gentleman who stopped me in the aisle and said to me, “You look like my dad.” He introduced himself to me and upon meeting his relative who was also in the store, I myself noticed a stark resemblance. After having conversations with mom about seeing my biological dad for the first time, I wanted some answers. Apparently, mom didn’t give me my biological dad’s name on my birth certificate because I was a product of an relationship between she and a former boyfriend. She didn’t want to cause a problem since he had no desire to claim me as his own. So, she did what she felt could honor another man with whom she had an involvement, but sadly for me a short-lived one. After our conversations, I still had a longing to establish some kind of relationship with my biological father. I got in touch with some of his children and their cousins and got his contact information. We talked briefly on the phone and I opened the door for him to initiate some kind of bond. Sadly, he said that we would leave things just as they were and the door has been closed forever. My longings for some kind of real identity remained unfulfilled.
Later in life after unsuccessful relationships and veering off track from my relationship with my Heavenly Father, I realized that the answer for my longings could not be found in a job, a sport, a drink, a joint, or even in a woman. God and my relationship to Christ was the only avenue to fulfillment.
I prayed that God would send me someone to help me on the journey with a like-minded pursuit of my Heavenly Father. Of course we are all sinful and flawed, and I realized even a relationship with a Christian woman would not be easy with the baggage we both carried, but God heard my prayer and sent me a potential mate.
When we were preparing for our marriage, the questions about my identity and my name resurfaced. My fiancée did not relish the idea of taking on a name that had no significance to me. Together, we came up with the idea of making a legal name change. By this time I was much more invested into my relationship with God and considered the fact that I indeed had a Father Who loved me unconditionally and Who would never abandon me. I wanted my identity to be bound up in and pointing to Him.
Together we tossed around several ideas and came up with options. We both love the outdoors and the majesty of God’s creation. We love the vastness of blues in the ocean and the sky. I settled on the name “Skye” because we look upward to our Heavenly Father and know that as far as the east is from the west in the vastness of the sky, our sins have been forgiven. I hope that my life and my name will honor my Heavenly Father.
Finally, I know Who my Father Is!