You don't hear me mention him much... because over the years, my father and I... well... we had some issues, and to say that we didn't see eye to eye on a lot of things would be a bit of an understatement. Still, through all of that, there's a lot about me... and the person I became... that derives from him.
He was an educated man, most of which he didn't obtain until he was well into adulthood. He became a minister when I was a baby, and in following years amassed several degrees: Bachelor and Masters of Sociology, Bachelor of Theology, Master of Theology (I think), a Doctorate of Pastoral Psychology and an honorary Doctor of Divinity -- to name a few. And for many of those papers and theses... I was his young typist.
He died on August 22, 2002, losing his battle to prostate cancer which metastasized to his bones, and whether he and I saw eye to eye or not, that was a pain that I did not wish on him. Many people saw him as a hero -- many did not. The church was full for his funeral, and for the two hours of service we had for him the night before, which for anyone else would have been just "calling hours."
So, today is his birthday and he is on my mind. The inscription on the back of one of these photos reads, "To my son Kelvin, with love. Pop" The other reads, "To Kelvin and Michael, with love. Dad (Peace) / Pop-pop). I'm not really certain that I ever really said good-bye to him. It's 6 years later; I guess it's time.
To Reverend Doctor John Willie Ringold, Happy Birthday, Peace! Rest well. I loved you too.