Our father died when I was 9 years-old. I can still remember it as though it happened yesterday. I was born Cheryl Denise Brown, a native of Wilmington, North Carolina. There are three sisters, Harriet, Angela and I. Harriet was 7 years-old and Angela was 18 months-old.
Our mother, Anita White Brown is a former New Hanover County School teacher and now retired from The Franklin County School System, Louisburg, North Carolina. Our father, the late Harry Henry Brown, Jr. was in the Military, United States Army and after his honorable discharge he was a New Hanover County School teacher in Wilmington, North Carolina.
As girls, it was hard at times growing up without a father. Later mother remarried my step-father Lieutenant Harold D. Brown, Retired of the Wilmington Fire Department.He was a great father although he wasn’t our biological father. Sometimes I think about how much we missed our deceased father and how we grew up in this world without having him around or just being there to listen to us when we had problems. I think about the school proms and graduations my father missed and it hurts so much.
I wanted to share a letter I wrote to my father of what my sisters and I missed so much. We missed him holding us at night, saying prayers with my sisters and me, but mostly taking us girls to a father-daughter dance. My letter is entitled “Dear Daddy.” I wrote this letter a few years ago when I had so much turmoil within my life and I needed him so much that it hurt.
We love you Daddy with all my heart, you died when we were young, that we never got to say goodbye. We missed the nurturing, love and times we could have shared together as a family. We were your little girls, the Brown sisters forever. We never shared a father-daughter dance. We never went for long walks in the park or took a bike ride though the city. We never talked or laughed together. My sisters and I were your precious angels, and we had to let you go. All these years growing up, we needed you Dad. We needed your strength and courage to help us understand a society of today that’s so different than our early years of the 1960’s. We needed our father and you weren’t there, for God called you home and you had to leave us.
We looked for love in all the wrong places. We even looked to our Uncles for love, which sometimes wasn’t there.We miss you Daddy with all our hearts. It hurts so much to let you go. We’re so alone without you Dad. God sent us a star and it was you, to hold us tight and kiss us goodnight.
Your loving daughters,
Cheryl, Harriet and Angela Brown
By: Cheryl Brown-Avery