Note: I wrote this piece on another blog years ago. It’s appropiate to share with you now in honor of my father, Charles L. Chatmon, Sr who passed from this earth two years ago. This is a challenging day to hold on to the positive memories, the good times we shared. I often say ‘submitted for your (dis) approval’ as a nod to Mr. Serling, but I hope you folks reading this understand the effort. Thank you.
-Charles L. Chatmon
There’s a lot of sounding off by our black women these days towards black men.
They reveal hurt, disgust, disappointment and certainly a lot of pain.
The women say there are no more ‘good men’ out there and as much as the few men try to insist there are, the women continue to refuse.
But I would like to talk about the one true man I know, he’s someone I’ve learned a lot by walking in his footsteps, holding his hand and hugging him whenever possible.
Let me share this with you and I hope you understand what it means to be a true man, because desiring a man with a tool in his pants pales in comparison to what’s in his heart, his soul, his all. Years ago, my father approached me with some disturbing news. After a visit to the doctor, he was told he had six months to live. As anyone would react after hearing your life will end in a number of days, he broke down and cried. I should know because I broke down with him on that day back in 1992.
However, my father rebounded and with the help and love of a supportive wife and son, he attended counseling sessions at the hospital with a group of other individuals diagnosed with the same affliction. He poured out his heart, sharing his fears yet willing to go through chemotherapy to beat the disease, or to slow its progress. After the dreaded six month period, my father was the only one, the only one who continued to attend counseling while the others, passed on.
I’m sure we in this woeful generation are so fixated on our material needs, our sexual wants, and trapped in the vain fortress of our egos that we fail to realize what the true measure of a man really is. It isn’t sexing up every woman he comes across, it isn’t about the size of his hands or his tool, it’s not about the six figures and the toys that come with it, no, hell no. It’s about what you have inside, a willingness to look death right in the face and tell it to back off, there’s still more living to do. I wish I could tell all of you the times my father would return from the hospital completely worn out from chemo, not willing to go through with it any further, or going to the hospital for repeated visits and finding out someone in your class didn’t make it to see one more day. No, we’re too busy cussing each other out, pointing fingers and indulging in foolishness to learn this lesson. This is what a true man is, this is what he’s made of. It’s just a damn shame we refuse to see it even when we should.
I can say after six long years of battling his disease, my father’s illness is now in remission and continuing to live his life for as the Lord allows him to live each day. Learning from this experience and even drained of all the support I had to carry for three people, my father, my mother and myself. I learned during that time that death does call each of us and when it’s our time, we must adhere to it. However, we all have a spirit to fight, to resist, to delay the inevitable because there is still more living to do.
So the next time anyone dare says a black man is full of…..you know, I can only look at the one man who laughs at all that, who didn’t have time to listen to all that emotional verbiage but focused on what was truly important; living out the rest of his days and winning a round over death.
The true, ‘good’ man is my father.
I, as his son, am proud to know and be a man just like him.
I love him, and always will. That’s a true man to me.