by The Bass Sisters -
We will spare you the melodrama and simply say on Valentine's Day 2009, our Daddy's short and brave battle with cancer ended.
While we may have once been indifferent about the day, we are no longer indifferent about Valentine's Day at all. In a rather existential Heidegger-esque way, Valentine's Day now makes us totally and completely "being towards LOVE."
We don't care if it is a free-market, capitalist advertising ploy by the greeting card and chocolate industry. After all, we are free-market capitalists, chocaholics who run a public relations shop.
But regardless of the gimmicks behind it, we now get it. Since our Daddy's passing, Valentine's Day has undergone significant re-branding. It is now a day on which we deliberately celebrate love.
We are blessed that our Daddy modeled a perfect example of unconditional love that is the foundation of our life. Of course, he did not agree with all of our life decisions, but success or failure, right or wrong, we were NEVER, EVER in doubt of our Daddy's unwavering love for us. He was a grown man who looked us in the eyes every time we saw him and said, "I love you!"
In our family and among our close friends, "I love you" has been reduced to a parting conclusion to any conversation. So on Valentine's Day, we are intentional about using the word love. We literally count our blessings for the people and things we love.
Here are some of the blessings and such that we will always LOVE about our Daddy –
We love that he cooked almost everything in a cast iron skillet.
We love that he gave Dee Dee the nickname Brute and Deana the nickname Ree.
We love that even after the divorce, to Daddy, our Mama was the standard for what a lady should be, and he never allowed anyone to disrespect her.
We love that he and my Uncle James, his twin brother, never stopped behaving like twins. At 60 years old, they still dressed exactly alike.
We love that when he passed gas, he said, "There's more room out there than there is in me."
We love that when we came home from school saying that humans were descendants from apes, he quickly corrected us and in his colorful way explained the beauty and miracle of creation.
We love that he walked with swagger and always thought he was God's gift.
We love that he wasn't lazy and didn't mind a hard day's work to put food on the table and a roof over our heads.
We love that he never bought a fake Christmas tree and was partial to Frasier firs.
We love that he was a man's man who was never, ever short on "I love you."
The Bass Sisters: Dee Dee Bass Wilbon and Deana Bass Williams are sisters and co-founders of Bass Public Affairs a Washington, DC based public affairs firm. They co-host the podcast Policy and Pound Cake. Their ongoing digital series Our American Story shares the broad and beautiful history of the Black American experience.
The commentary is adapted from one originally written in 2014 for the Afro.com