My Time With You (Pt.2)

My Uncle James was a simple man. He worked hard through the week as a machinist and entertained the ladies on the weekends. Many of those weekends during my childhood, he always made sure to make time for his favorite girl, me. Even on gloomy days the sun managed to shine for me when ever we spent time together. My Uncle loved to take me to Alameda Beach (featured above). We had lots of fun together and I enjoyed every moment I spent with him growing up. By the time I was eight and moved to Sacramento, he’d visit nearly every weekend. Sometimes it was movie nights when my mom and younger brother would join in watching the newest release of the Star Wars saga. Uncle James would try to buy all my girl scout cookies thinking he was helping me out, but he and momma would bicker when she’d tell him I’m not going to learn anything if he doesn’t let me sell the cookies. I’d sit in the cornner giggling as I watched them and snacked on the cookies he purchased without her knowing. He loved taking me shopping and had a way of always making me feel like a princess. The best times were when he’d visit unexpected and greet me with not only a big hug as he lifted me up in the air, but he’d also present me with a bouquet of roses and a crisp new fifty dollar bill tucked in between the petals. Still the best part of these visits aound the time I turned 10 years old was when he’d hop out his BMW with his roller skates tied together hanging off his shoulders along with his boom box. Instantly I knew what was about to go down. Uncle James and I would spend the day roller skating through K street mall downtown with the music blaring and us doing tricks and dancing down the strip of the outside mall. Back then there was no cars or public transit access just open space for us to roam free.

By the time I turned 14, I was fed up with momma’s abuse and ran away, straight to my uncle. I’d hustled up on a greyhound ticket and as expected, he welcomed me with open arms. My uncle, still hard at work full time didn’t want to leave me alone so he appointed the neighbor who lived across the street from him and my grandfather who had become like a son to my uncle to keep an eye on me. This was the very first time I’d ever seen my uncle so serious and express any form of anger. He warned (who I have only ever referred to as my bodyguard) that he better not touch me or try anything with me. He was loyal to my uncle and never did. On my uncle’s death bed three years ago, his last words to me were him asking for the umpteenth hundred time if I ever had sex with said bodyguard. I promised him, that even as adults aside from a hug, the only time he ever touched me was to push me out the way of gun fire or shield me from any other danger. To this very day even after my uncle’s death, out of the love and respect we both have for him, sex was never an option only a lifelong friendship. During that period of time living with my uncle, there were times he’d throw me on the back of his motorcycle for a long drive, eventually teaching me how to drive it. Other evenings he prepared a nice dinner for us. Uncle James set the table with flowers and pulled my chair out for me and we’d talk, about most everything. He would warn me about how some men take advantage of girls. He made sure that I always new my worth and would always tell me how beautiful I am and to not let anyone tell me I can’t do something. He was firm in telling me that if a man wasn’t treating me like a queen, he didn’t deserve my time which was interesting because I had noticed, although he never seem to be with the same girl for long, he still treated them very well and was respectful to women in general. There were so many instances over the years when I desperately wanted to tell him about what my stepfather had been doing to me, but I was afraid for many reasons. Mostly due to fear of my mom’s threats that if I told him he was sure to kill my stepfather without hesitation. I also knew for sure that he would and I couldn’t bare my little brothers loosing their dad.

By the time I gave birth to my first child, I’d once again made my way back to my uncles and it was the bodyguard who drove me to the hospital while I was in labor. Unfortunately our bond was no longer the same. Perhaps he was disappointed with me becoming pregnant or because he was now struggling with a drug and alcohol addiction. Not long after having my daughter Uncle James moved to another state where we had other family residing and I learned he actually had a daughter of his own who was a few years younger than me. I began to wonder if that’s why he spoiled me, due to missing out with his own daughter. I never questioned my uncle’s love for me, it was always obvious. I could see it in his eyes when ever he looked at me or we talked. He was the one who always supported me in ever venture and cheered me on. It was his face I’d see in the stands when I was in the outfield catching fly balls, never my moms. I recently found his daughter and connected with her. God is good, because I found her name in an old obituary of another family member and through Facebook we were suddenly united. She had no photos of her dad, so thankfully I was able to share what I have with her. She enjoys the stories I tell about her dad, my favorite uncle. I love and miss him so much and now when I look in her eyes, they resemble so much it’s as if I’m looking into his again. With all those who have come in and out my life trying to tear me down, it is because of my time with my Uncle James that I know my worth. His love and support helped me to stand tall and walk with confidence in everything I do.

Published by 5thgenerationgirl

Tammy Wynette is a mother of three and a β€œG-MA” (grandma). Born in Warren, Arkansas, she currently resides in Sacramento, CA and is pursuing an AA degree in English at American River College, with plans to transfer to California State University, Sacramento (Sac State). She is an active leader and role model in her community, she works with teens sharing and teaching poetry, as well as providing insight for young parents to prosper. She has certificate from NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness) and is a trailblazer & Griot, keeper of stories/traditions passed down from her ancestors. As an Author and motivational speaker it’d be an honor to present at your events to inspire, encourage & let our VOICES be heard! She has short stories and poems published in Our Black Mothers Brave, Bold and Beautiful!

62 thoughts on “My Time With You (Pt.2)

  1. “Stand tall and walk with confidence” That’s advice and guidance that every child should be given.

    I spent a lot of my life in fearful state and hiding away from the world.

    I always thought everyone else had been given the book of living and I didn’t get my copy.

    Every day I am stronger, more confident and a more capable human being since throwing away my fears.

    Thanks for sharing your memories of Uncle James πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for sharing that wonderful story. It is so wonderful that you had such a loving, attentive Uncle who took care of you and taught you self respect and self love. To have such a strong and loving male role model in your life was such a gift and you expressed that so clearly in your post. I’m sure you miss him a lot. It’s great you now know his daughter and can share your past experiences with her. Perhaps through him losing a daughter, or having her distant, he learned the importance of treating women with respect and thus treated his dates and you with that respect and adoration.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, thank you so much. My eyes are filling with tears because I never thought about the perspective of the way he treated women relating to his daughter. Thank you so much and for confirmation on the message being well expressed. I always want to respect and make my family proud, but can be hard when writing the truth, yet it comes straight from the heart. Blessings my friend!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad my comment was helpful. People often tell me I need to write a memoir or autobiography. I’m sure there will be something written at some point, about the work my work partner and I are doing. But I would feel uncomfortable writing about family and especially my extended family. I’ve been treated so poorly by some of them and saw how many lies they told about my family and how they especially judged my Mother. So I’m not going to expose all the details. It is delicate writing the truth about our experiences.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is most certainly which is why I’m struggling now to get through my book & my editor is on me daily asking if I’m writing.
        I finally came to a point a few years back to tell my story by informing my brother’s what would be revealed of their dad. As long as I continue to be candid in my writing, I can’t concern myself with the others.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Your Uncle James sounded like a wonderful man who was a truer parent to you than your mother. Those movie night and rides memories are very vivid as is those wonderful photos by the beach. It’s no coincidence you connected with his own daughter after all those years and it’s a wonderful way to keep his memory and legacy alive.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That is amazing that he treated you so well, when so many earthly fathers do not do the same for their biological daughters.

    This is one of the main things missing from a lot of girls and women: They don’t know their worth because they are not taught their worth. They learn through societal influence and music and movies and Hollywood that it makes a girl special when a man chooses to be with her.

    They don’t understand their value independently of having a man. It is why a lot of girls develop into women who are obsessed with men, idolize men and will put up with any and everything from men, because they define themselves, value themselves, and find their worth in a man’s approval and attention.

    They don’t love themselves and are looking for a man to love them instead of being receptive to a man’s love that is in addition to their own self-love.

    It is very important for parents, especially fathers to build up their daughter’s self-esteem and to model for her how a man should treat a woman in the way he treats her mother well.

    Obviously, mothers should teach their daughters to respect themselves and teach their daughters their worth as well.

    In addition, mothers should love and protect their children; love their daughters. They also should not be bringing abusive men into their children’s lives.

    I am so glad God was watching over you, regardless of the other circumstances.
    I am glad your Uncle loved you so much.

    Thank you for sharing.😊❀

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Wow Tammy, what a heartwarming story about your Uncle James. It’s funny that my father’s name was James and so many first cousins (on both sides) who called him that, including second and third cousins. πŸ€—πŸ’–πŸ₯° The thing I am most shocked by, but shouldn’t be is that second picture of a fly-girl rocking a white bathing suit…excuse me…bikini on Alameda Beach. πŸ‘™πŸ€­πŸ– Lawd, have mercy on “Star Child!” 🀩🌟🌞 LOL

    Perhaps your Uncle James did spoil you because, as you noted, he missed his biological daughter. But how awesome it is that you managed to find her and share a piece of your history and hers, with his daughter, your cousin. I know she was delighted that you contacted her. What a beautiful story Queen T. πŸ’–πŸ¦‹πŸ’πŸ’β€πŸ˜

    Liked by 2 people

      1. LMBO πŸ€£πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚ Tammy, you were a little hotdog back then and I don’t think your Uncle James helped at all! 🩱 You were already a diva in the making. Plus, you had your own designer? LOL Look girl, if you sewed, you designed because you had to throw in something extra, with them big ole fabulous legs!!! πŸ¦΅πŸ½πŸ‘§πŸ½πŸ¦΅πŸ½ A queen in the making! πŸ‘ΈπŸ½

        Liked by 1 person

      2. OK Coco Chanel…but perhaps you can put a spin on her persona that won’t offend! πŸ§΅πŸ‘—πŸ‘  Maybe a reflection from her designer’s point of view. πŸ˜‰ But if walls could talk eh??? πŸ€”

        Liked by 1 person

  6. What a truly beautiful story. Sounds like you were blessed with a very special uncle who loved you very much. I’m sorry about your stepfather, unfortunately I know how it can feel to be abused by family members. I’m so glad you had such a wonderful uncle who loved you, supported you and believed in you. God is truly great and he’s always there watching after us. There are just bad people in this world. Hugs and love JoniπŸ€—β€οΈπŸ™

    Liked by 2 people

  7. So glad to know this about your uncle James. Everyone should have an uncle like him.
    Girl, I see your reasoning behind why you didn’t tell Uncle about that nasty stepfather of yours. I’m so sad that happened to you. So sorry.
    But you are a Phoenix, Sista. Happy how it all turned out.
    Glad you connected with that cousin. Life is good.
    Thanks for the lovely story. Stay strong and beautiful. xo πŸ€— xo

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It is never okay to hurt and abuse others, my heart goes out to you as child that had to endure so much hurt and pain. You had a loving and caring uncle, I’m so glad that you could share this with your cousin. Wishing you blessings in abundance.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. What a superbly written creative piece!! πŸ‘πŸΎ
    Thank God for those special people He places in our lives as guardian angels. πŸ™πŸΎ

    These are precious memories that not even time can ever erase.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. πŸ‘ŒπŸΎπŸŒΉ

    Liked by 2 people

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