|My father: Jesse Carl Taylor-Pryor "Pete"|
I'm sure that I will never understand the reasons that he stayed away after he and my mother divorced. They are long gone and buried with him. I've always been careful in talking about him. Knowing that his departure and absence left scars on the hearts of my loved ones that still remain after all these years. However, I must talk about him. As he is part of the story. There is no shame in speaking about an absent father. When you grow up without your father, and the years roll by, with no phone calls, no letters, no visits. It's only natural to be curious about him and why he's not with you.
On my journey to find out more about him, I found his family...my family. I'm realizing that this work of finding ancestors is my calling and it applies to finding the living relatives as well as those who are gone. Growing up my mother made sure that I knew that I had other siblings. She told my sisters and I often. Always saying just what my father had told her. That he had ten children.That never bothered me. I just wanted to know who they were, and where they are. After I found my father's siblings, my aunt sent me baby pictures of children that she said were my siblings, also an obituary of a brother who passed away before I had a chance to meet him. As I talked more with my family. His story began to unfold. It was so touching to hear my aunts and uncles speak fondly about this man that I remember, yet hardly knew. They gave small details of the brother they remembered. It was fresh, new and exiting. All I had ever heard was my mother's story. How I wished that I had known them when I was a child.
|The reunion: L. to R. Uncle Charles, Me, my sister Tiffany and Uncle Steve|
When I shared this information with my sisters they couldn't believe it. They told me "Denise, You have to find them". My first thought was, Lord, why Me? and how am I supposed to do that? I don't know if they even want to be found. However, I knew that I had to try. I would love to find them all. I called my father's brother, He confirmed what my aunt had told me. "Yes", he said..Pete did have many, many children. He told me that Missouri was the place to start and that he was willing to help me find ALL of them. Well there it was. I had my starting point.
If I could talk to my father today. I wouldn't have any harsh words for him. I wouldn't ask him for money. I wouldn't even ask him where he has been for all these years. I would only ask him where are all my brothers and sisters.
|Kimberley Ann Taylor |
|Peter James Davis|
|Jesse Renald Williams "Skip" 1955-2008|
A Letter To My Father:
I have often wondered where you are and what happened to you. Years have gone by and you've missed so much. How could I have known that when I was seven would be the last time that I saw your face. Your girls are all grown up now with families of their own. You have 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Mom took great care of us. She made sure that we never forgot you. I've often wondered what our life would have been like had you stayed. I believe that everything happens for a reason, It just wasn't in the plan. Through genealogy research, I've found your family. My aunts,uncles and a ton of cousins. They've embraced me with loving arms. I've also found a sister, Tiffany. Were so happy that she came into our life. Dear Daddy, It's now time to put you to rest. I am letting you go. I have so much work to do. I must try to find my other siblings, hopefully I will find them all. The ancestors are waiting. They, like you, have a story and it must be told.
Peace & Love,
© 2013 Denise Muhammad