14 Months ago, a good friend and supporter of Champagne in The Locker Room felt compelled to share his story about his relationship with his father and pen an open letter. He decides to open his heart once again for Part 2 of “Dear Dad,”
Man, just when I thought that last open letter to you was tough to write…writing this one was even tougher. Well, it has to be done…
Sometime during 2016, I decided to write an open letter to my pops and share it here on CiTLR. I have some friends that had bad relationships with their dads and I wanted to show that every day that God gives us is another chance to make things “right”. But, I don’t want that previous letter to seem as if my dad wasn’t there at all. He was, he just wasn’t fully around and there were a lot of things we missed out on. Therefore, I wanted to highlight the relationship of my pops and I…you know, with some transparency. The letter spoke about the bad, the good, the hurt, and the love. The letter also spoke about how my pops was diagnosed with ALS, a terminal disease.
After being diagnosed with ALS over four years prior to me writing the initial letter, and prior to me sharing it with my pops, our relationship started to improve. This was even more the case over the past year and a half as my pops’ disease began to progress. We spent hours upon hours bonding, and re-developing that father/son relationship that I believe we both longed for. It was a great feeling to realize all that I had missed during my youth and young adult life was right there. I was getting to know my pops, understand him, and more importantly, spend time with him.
In November, my pops was turning 55, and he was having a huge birthday party. You could just tell how much he was looking forward to it (he kept telling me how “lit” it was going to be LOL!). The day came and went with a lot of family members and close friends in attendance. My pops had a great day and told me how happy he was that I was part of the festivities. But, although I didn’t say it, and neither did he, something just didn’t feel right after the party.
Within the coming weeks, my pops ended up in the hospital. After he survived the first scare, I really knew something wasn’t right and that it was time to spend even more time with him. I planned on taking my family and going over to his house on Christmas to spend our first Christmas together (he and I) in decades, and our first Christmas together (my family and his family), ever. Sadly, my dad did not make it to see Christmas. Anthony Wayne Brown, Sr. passed away peacefully with all of his loved ones by his bedside on December 17, 2017. It was by far, the toughest thing I ever had to deal with and continue to deal with each day.
While I don’t understand God’s reasons for allowing things to happen, I thank Him. I thank Him for the time I got to spend with my dad in recent years. I thank Him for the comfort He continues to provide me. I thank Him for allowing me to be by my dad’s bedside and saying our last few words to each other. I thank Him for the gift of prayer that my father and I shared during his last days. And lastly, I thank Him for my dad’s life.
At the funeral service, numerous people spoke about the positive impact my dad had on their lives, in particular after being diagnosed with ALS. The thing that stood out to me most was that despite being diagnosed with a terminal disease, Anthony Wayne Brown, Sr. (better known as Deacon or Deac) lived his life to the fullest!!!
To a life well lived…
Love your Son…Lil Deac