The Tall Man I've come to Know, Respect, Admire with MORE Love

This picture is a stamp of reflection and honor to: Andrew Walker, my father, Rose Walker, my mother, my brother Andre and his wife Grace Walker, my siblings, and my son Daryean and his Dad

His demeanor of authority, his moral conscience, his tireless devotion to duty, his unwavering individuality and his indestructible faith are the inherited wisdom trophies.   Through a lifetime of countless challenges and unknowns, he perseveres.  He is the most constant man of significance for all of my life.

As a child, I only knew him as a presence.  As far as I was concerned, he was tall and that's just the extent of my nine year old summation.    

He was my mother's arm of consolation,  her sole confidant, her finance minister, her angst monitor, her sorrow bearer, her discipline, sometimes corporal, most times, verbal mouthpiece.  He was also her devoted and effusively adoring son.

In the grief, the hopelessness and despair of widowhood at age forty nine, my mother's fears were reassuringly abated.  He did not abandon her.  From the death of my father at age fifty, each of my ten siblings and I, were protected and our lives were sheltered because of his honor, his devotion, his principle and his manhood.

At age twenty eight, newly married, with a growing family, he assumed the post of husband, partner, lover, lifetime companion till death do us part, to his young and beautiful wife.  To his mother and to each of us, he was the family benefactor by default.

From the age of nine through fifty seven, I have witnessed  demonstration of triumph through Grace.  In the line of siblings, he is the second child, first boy with five sister siblings.   With three more brothers, my fourth brother, a year younger than I, died at 3, and I, our intersecting lives were fairly distanced and separate in years and experiences.

On the day of my wedding in 1977, I was escorted up the aisle by him.  I felt that I would topple over because my knees were trembling and buckling .   In addition to the fact, my  3 inch spike heels were a balancing act by itself,  I was so reassured by the strength of his grip on my elbow.    I felt no greater honor than to be given away by him. His rendition of the Schubert Ave Maria at my wedding ceremony is an indelibly treasured memory.

Be our differences great or small, whether we clash on ideals or ideas, in spite of  our contradicting views, I have always known and cherished the gift of his fatherhood.  He has and always shared his talents, his nurturing and caring and more than any thoughts, his discipline and spiritual conviction.

Without my biological father, he became more than a father figure. He became my mother's saving Grace.  He shared his pocket, he shared his time, he shared  his advice and he shared the covenant of family.  

Sometimes we seek to have our children know that we have journeyed. The life lessons always birth new awakenings.   In my life, I have seen the gift of fatherhood, through the parenting by a mother.  I have also been cared for by all my siblings.  Each became my guardian through many phases of life experiences.  In the role of eldest son, the example of commitment to family, of duty to responsibility, and of untiring devotion to faith, are the most permanent and lasting gifts that I have received from my oldest brother. 

My gratitude is infinite and my love is greater than words.  Andre, my oldest brother, you are a father,  to my nephews and niece.    They now have taken the mantel of parenting to their own offspring.  In all of my years, I have always known your presence.  More than a brother, you continue to be the Our Father, to the prayers of all our ancestors, to the legacy of our father and mother, and to future generations.

For the man, who stands so tall and keeps me looking up, you are the example and the practice of  the word  "Father".  It is an understatement to say I love you.  Like my granddaughters say, I love you MORE.
Happy Father's Day, my dear, dear brother.

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