Our father Wendell Hayes passed away nine years ago this week. It may sound crazy but although I never knew him I still loved him. It takes two and as I look as his pictures and hear the good things about him I'm glad that he wasn't all bad.
A brother confused not wanting to step up to responsibility. But all in all...I forgave him after I received word in May of 2000 after my mothers friend running into an old friend of my Dad's that he passed away just two months prior of lung cancer. I was devastated. How could I be mad at someone who was dead? I had to let it go and told him in my prayers, "Father I forgive you, rest in peace." Never laying eyes on him, hearing his voice, listening to him play the drums (which is how he met my Mom) or feeling his embrace I would never know physically how he was or felt.
His death opened up doors to another world...my other half. I have two more sisters and a brother. My older sister who shall remain nameless doesn't recognize myself nor my other sister by my father Shavonn. I pray for her and hope one day our brother Marcus who we have not a clue as to where he is will surface in God's time.
I'm happy that before he passed away he was counseling other men and women who were drinking and drugging like he used too. He was also a motivational speaker and although I call my Creator God he called his Allah as he found Islam in prison. He turned it around, but at 53 he was taken away...
I wrote this piece nine years ago and it's titled, "Our Father is Gone."
Ase to the elders that have passed, Ase to our father Wendell Hayes, Ase, Ase, Ase.
Our Father is Gone
“This is for our father. Dedicated to Wendell Hayes.”
A brother has passed
His soul lie between two worlds
He went out so fast that he still thinks he is here
His spirit is confused as to why no one is acknowledging him
When he speaks to people they keep walking
When his name comes up his children cry
WHY! He screams, IS NO ONE PAYING ME ANY MIND
If only he knew he has passed
As he begins to see the light and his life pass before him
It is becoming clearer as he sees his children light a candle and pray as one
They were never one until he had passed
All got different Mama’s but got the same daddy
Close in age but never grew together as ONE
It took him to die for them to find one another
Tragedy took place and instead of mourning I rejoice
Out of pain, he is at PEACE
No more disease, drinking and drugging
Beautiful Black Man Tell Me Why!
Why did you have to die so soon before your time?
Only the Creator knows that answer
For He will give this Black Man strength to be a father to his children
But from the other side
He can guide them through the storm, move obstacles out of the way
As I hear the talking drums from above I know it is he that is blessing me
I hear the Djembe drums at night and I know it is he that is calling me
I’m sorry for what I have done
I’m sorry for leaving you like this
Not knowing me
ALL my life I have been looking for this Black Man and I found him
His spirit lives on through his children
But tell me WHY BLACK MAN
Why did you not recognize me?
I feel stronger cause you see…a part of him always knew me
He couldn’t admit his mistakes
It took him to die in order for me to forgive
A Strong Black Man died y’all and for what?
His lifestyles caught up
But his memory lives on
As I hear the talking drums play
I hear his hands hitting on the Djembe
As he sings an African tune to me from the heavens
DID y’all hear me
A strong BLACK MAN has died
And has gone on his way
He realizes that BLACK MAN IZ GOD
It took him to die and roam the earth to figure it out
He always had God within him and never knew it
A strong and powerful man is gone
Walked off into the sunset to join his parents above
Now they all look down and wonder why
WHY DID WE HAVE TO DIE?
As the families mourn and rejoice too
Mourn his death but bless their reunion which is long over due
Over due by twenty five years
Acceptance is not easy amongst our people
Acceptance is not easy when there are unanswered questions
The man who died has our answers
Why did he die I ask my creator?
Another one gone before his time
As I pray to the spirits and ancestors for his safe journey
And wish that I knew he
People I mourn his death
BUT REJOICE THE LIVING
Rejoice the union of my family
As we look at one another
And become ONE…
Copyright 2000 Serena Wills
All Rights Reserved