part 1.

every boy growing up has a love for their father. well, not every boy. in fact, my dad never met his father. and that’s what made my dad such an ideal candidate for being a dad.

my dad is my favorite super hero. crazy thing is…. peep this. HE’S REAL!!! yall get to watch Marvel on screen for $12.50 for 2 and a half hours. i get to witness a Black hero for the free for decades. i was born on January 30th but my expected date was January 28th. that’s the day my dad was born. it’s like a real comic book but Stan Lee didn’t write this one, God did.

i have the privilege, the blessing of having a father in my life. and the fact that he’s the GOAT? child please. i never doubted my father. now, i did ask tons of questions growing up to see what but more importantly why he did what he did. he lived a certain life so i wouldn’t have to see a certain life. me claiming i’m from the hood is disrespectful to him. me claiming my dad wasn’t there is a lie. me claiming i once sold drugs to make ends meet or i had to hide and lie to that man is disrespectful to him. i didn’t have to bang. didn’t have to sell weed. never felt neglected. never felt like a loner. never been bullied. never had low self esteem. never had to wonder if my dad loved me. he made it obvious from January 30th 1993 that he will prepare me to be a God fearing responsible man. and that is what i am.

i never did none of that. but i was shown what respeck is. i was taught by a man how to be a man. i was taught how to work. i was taught how to save money. i was taught how to be a good boyfriend and potential husband. i was taught who the savior and Lord is. i was taught how to cook. my dad didn’t do the things he shouldn’t have done and did the things he shoulda did. i’m winning.

this guy was a drug dealer. this guy was a truck driver. this guy worked on tires. this guy was a hood dude. this guy is a preacher. this guy is a dad. this guy is a husband. but at the end of the day, he’s a man. a Black man. a Black God fearing man. and that is what i love most about him. he is my definition of what a man is. he takes pride in what a man is. he told then showed me what a man is. to this day, he hasn’t failed at that job. Julius Jerome Washington is the standard of a man. he’s my influence. if you love me, you love him. if you see me, you see him. my father takes pride in being real. he takes pride in being different. he takes pride in keeping his word. he takes pride in loving his family. my father is on a whole nother level, bruh. i’ve been blessed by God to have a super hero as a father. to have a king as a father. he never knew this but he’s the bar. i compare myself to him. when i talk to my nephew about life, i get my advice from him. i think of a man and he’s whom i think of. i don’t idolize him. but you know how people be like “Kobe gotta do this this and that to be better than MJ…” that’s what i think of with him. people always say they wanna have kids young so they won’t be old too old to play with. my father was 40 when I was born. that was perfect. Jerome was father to 2 daughters before his only son came. he was mature. he was wise. he had years of wisdom and experience. being 40 and not having a father of his own and having a son, my father was the perfect person to be dad of a boy. not having a dad, he did everything to be OPPOSITE of his non existent father. taught me how to be different. took me to school on the basketball court. he TALKED to me. he was there. the biggest and most important thing he taught me when i was younger and is still teaching me to this day is still is how to be a God fearing Black Man. and i thank you. and my mom thanks you. my sisters thank you. Jaden thanks you. women thank you. my friends thank you. coworkers thank you. indirectly or not, they do. and i ultimately thank God for blessing me with a dope role model. a dope dude i can look up to. your legacy lives on.

part 2. a poem.

you’ve told me then showed me the steps to being a man

give me a few lines as i virtually hug you and shake your hand.

you put me before you and that’s the most selfless act

you sacrificed a lot, pops, and i thank you for that.

you ain’t teach me how to play checkers instead you taught me how to play chess

you told me at a young age if i have something on my mind say it with my chest.

“be ready for the consequences be ready for the threats

remember the Bible is your weapon and God is your vest.”

you might not like the word but you showed me how to be cheap

you told me never be scared, wanna do something, just leap.

crazy how you’re just like your favorite artists.

different like Prince. political like Mayfield. and a nigga with an attitude like Cube.

they all stirred the pot and I still wanna be just like you.

MLK. X. Ali. Kwame. the list goes on

Jay-Z. TI. the guy who sings the “Change Is Gon Come” song.

Huey. Bobby. Garvey. Mandela

i’m telling you, i study great powerful men…. hella.

i love you and thank you for taking care of home.

when i have my son, his name will be Julius Jerome.

*Listen Adore by Prince. Today was a Good Day by Ice Cube. The Makings of You by Curtis Mayfield.

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