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As Father's Day approaches, I get a little misty-eyed because it's another year where I won't be able to show my appreciation to my dad face-to-face for all of the wonderful things he did for me throughout my life. I won't get to say "Thanks Pops!" for being the example of the kind of man I wanted in my own life as a loving mate. It's been more than 20 years since he passed away but he is never far from my thoughts.

My dad was, what I like to call, a gentle giant. He was so calm and easy going but he always took care of business. I am still baffled as to how he and my mother "hooked up" because they are so OPPOSITE---I guess kind of like me and my own husband.

I idolized my dad. It couldn't have been easy for him to grow up in the Deep South in the 1930s and 40s as a black man---knowing black men were always targets for lynchings and beatings and other hate crimes. But he made it through by the grace of God and a mother who did all she could to prepare him for life as an adult.

When I was little, I looked forward to him coming home from work and all of us sitting at the kitchen table together and having dinner. It would be even better if he cooked the meal because he was a better cook than my mother by far.

Although my dad got to see me graduate from college and hear me on the radio a few times, he never got the chance to see how successful I became as a result of the money he spent to put me through college. He never got to see me get married---either time---or to see his only grandchild---and now his only great-grandson. He never got a chance to read my book orsee the baby boomer diva I've turned out to be.

But I do believe my dad, Lewis Mahone,is still watching over me andtoday as I was driving to the post office, I felt his spirit as a song by "The Police" came on the radio:

"Every breath you take....Every move you make...every step you take...I'll be watching you." Thanks Dad for looking out. I hope you are as proud of me as I have always been of you.


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