True Love and Blessings to Fathers everywhere!
The Haughton Family
The definition of the word father is simply a man who has begotten and raised a child. I was blessed to be the son of Michael Haughton who transcended this definition. To me, a father is a man who embodies the divine connotation of the word. A man who guides a son and daughter spiritually, physically and mentally through the perils of life, while protecting them and their mother like a king overseeing the prosperity and enlightenment of his kingdom.
My father instilled in me the importance of family, education and respect. I learned how to treat a woman by the way he loved and cherished my mother, grandmother and sister. Although he lost his father at a young age, he defied expectations and maintained a marriage and solid household for his family while being present and involved in every aspect of our lives.
When I told him I wanted to become a professional wrestler he grabbed me and taught me how to play basketball and I made the team the first time I tried out. Looking back now, thank God he did that. Although I still love wrestling, Dad knew it was not for me.
When I was rebellious he didn’t simply punish me without cause. He pushed me to become better, making sure I entered the declamation poetry contest at school which I eventually won overall prize sparking the belief in myself as a writer and lover of literature.
He exposed my sister and I to martial arts and showed me hundreds of films. I now live in Japan where my sister performed concerts in front of thousands and my life and love of the culture is evolving into more than I could have dreamed of. It all began with the unique and colorful mind of my father and the gifts he shared with us.
When I was still just a boy, he took me to see the sci-fi, action and drama films that would inspire me to pursue film. He taught me aspects of religion, philosophy and culture that shaped my vision of the world and myself. Most of all my Dad loved me, with every fiber of his being. And every fiber of my being is what is today because of him.
When I was young he always used to tell me to be “raw”. “Raw” was a code-word between us that meant to be a tough, strong and hard man so that I could overcome any adversity in life. I have faced many adversities, and the day I lost my Dad, only my eyes were “raw” from crying. But now that I am older, I realize the brilliance of my Dad’s word choice — the realization that “raw” also means to be tender — having the strength to feel emotion, be vulnerable so that you can open your heart to the world. Anyone who came in contact with my Dad loved him instantly, because he was the most loving, intelligent, generous and caring man in the world. Dad, you are my inspiration, my teacher, my confidant, my best friend — the hero of the movie in my heart, the memory of my childhood, and the perfect adventure to come. And don’t worry, I will be “Raw” no matter what. I love you forever. We will meet again soon!
An Everlasting Quote
A truly special quote from Aaliyah’s and Rashad’s Grandfather. For this day and every day…
“Everyone has a chance in this country now to get where you want and as high as you want as long as you have the brains, that’s why I emphasize to everyone in America to get some education.”
Dedicated to Marco, from Rashad,
“My Brother, My Friend Always, Mi Hermano, Marco”
Can be strong, maybe weak,
But must always be proud.
Can be soft spoken or a torrent of confidence,
Never must be plundered beneath.
Responsibility, a value he must have,
For on his back are the burden of bills.
But his will to survive will never let him down,
He’ll keep going until he reaches his peak.
He might be very tough, and extremely strong,
To be equal in strength with any other man,
There must be love and kindness at hand.
From nine to five he may work tenaciously,
He might come home tired and fatigued,
But his tempo will never cease,
For he is a man and a man is a man.
Through his life, his confidence may fade,
At times all empty his strength may be,
But to rise should be every man’s quality,
Rise — Rise — Rise!
To come back strong with demand and faith,
With his fist brandished high,
He will — he will — he will.
Along this journey of complexity called life,
Opportunities and chances will come his way.
He is a man to judge right from wrong.
His life is his; he may incredulously decide,
When or how it may end.
But a man knows there are casualties in life,
But a man knows things will come together,
But a man knows…
In the end, a man’s age may rise in number,
His skin may gradually wrinkle,
His hair may eventually gray.
But the man is a man,
Who knows what kind of man he really is,
“For he is a man and a man is a man.”
“Dance with My Father”
by Luther Vandross