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Leap Year-1992

In 1992, I met the son of Willard and my life changed. Here’s to Leap Year and living different.

To Willard with love,

There once was a man named Williard.

He loved with all he had.

He lost his wife early and loved his kids the be he knew how.

Williard loved me like a daughter as a matter a fact he called me that.

Despite my family and all that.

What is it like to be shunned by my Dad and loved by my father.

Only I know.

On the day of his passing, I know my mom and he made a deal.

She was to stay and he was to go.

His love lives on in his children and in me.

In him, I found an unconditional love, a love that saw no color, no judgment, just joy.

Perhaps that is what I saw in his son and his family that became mine.

What does it mean to be a white woman with a black father I do not know.

I just know for a brief moment I knew pure unconditional love and acceptance and that is forever teaching me how to be human.

I don’t know if I ever said, “thank you.” This man who loved me so and accepted with such exuberance. I don’t know if he knew how I loved him so.

To Williard with love.

p.s. The movie, “The Help” inspired this entry. For those of you that I angry about this movie, I ask that you just stop and listen that for change it takes those of us with privilege to risk and those of us without to realize we only have our humanity to lose if we don’t. We are as human as we can be together for better or worse.

About Joy Rain

Joy has been a diversity and inclusion consultant and mediator for over ten years. Prior to consulting, she was professor of Psychology and Women Studies. Joy has a Master of Arts in Psychology (Boston University) and a Master of Education in Social Justice Education (UMASS Amherst).


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