The Person Who Knows Me Best
Updated: May 28
There's a myriad of people whom I have met, gotten to know, and in the same manner, gotten to know me. But there is one person who just knows me in an out, and I'd say that is my dad. My dad for the most part knows my thoughts in a lot of different situations that often catch even me off guard. As I've said in a previous post, I do consider myself blessed as a young Black man to have a Black father, and role model that has always been in my life, and always there to guide me or give advice. Growing up at a young age, my dad was always my coach, whether that be out on the baseball field, or on the basketball court, my dad would always be around after working a full day, come home go to practice and coach me. I know I was never the superstar athlete or player I am sure every father hopes to have in a son when playing sports, but even though I wasn't, that never steered my dad from coaching me, and trying to help me develop as a player. It's funny, a moment that I still laugh about to this day is when my parents, and I were at orientation at my first college Holy Names University, I remember my dad saying to me: "I guess you don't have to worry about being here too long, you'll be getting ready for the NBA soon right?"
He said it as a joke, because while growing up, that's all I wanted to do, and said my dream was. And as we were standing there in line, with a college education journey in front of me, the NBA dream was definitely dead. So I always remember that laugh we shared, and that moment. But you know what? I think I have shown my dad all the other gifts, and abilities I have. And put them to good use. I graduated college, I am a successful teacher, and published author. No I didn't make the NBA, but I feel I am SOMEBODY. Something else growing up my dad always reminded my brothers, and I is we are all a representation of the Eggleston/Jackson family. So we all have to wear the badge well, and with respect for ourselves, and continue to make as many strides in the world as we can.
Looking back at those times playing sports now that I am older, I have an even greater appreciation for all the time spent. Seeing other father’s, including some I have now coached with in my AAU basketball coaching career, like Coach Spencer, and Coach Kenny up close, and personal train, and put in the time, and extra time to bring out the best in their sons is what it is all about. Never making it easy on them, and pushing them to be the best they could be was a perspective I enjoyed seeing up close, as they too were Black males trying to always and continually bring out the best in their sons, and it was always great to see as we coached together. And my dad was the same way!
I will never forget those nights, especially in my freshmen year of high school where we would have to stay up working on assignments because I needed that extra help, and support in the classroom. My dad would always be willing, even after a long day to come home get settled, and help me on my school work. And don’t be confused, my dad would never do the work for me, but he was there as a guide, and motivator to always make sure I was turning in my best work. One saying he taught me at a young age that I haven’t forgotten even to this day is this quote he told me.
“Any job, be it big or small, I will do my best, or nothing at all.”
Again, little things like that to keep me going, and pushing me to get the ultimate goal in life, no matter what I am striving for, he was there as a guide. I think about guys I see in life who can’t say they had a father figure growing up, and having to find their own way, and still be successful. It isn’t impossible to do, but having a father certainly helps out in all aspects of life as one grows up in age. I am sure guys like Lebron James, as successful as he is today, still would have loved to have a father in his life always there for him to support him as he grew up. He’s an example of a guy who only had a mother who raised him, and he had other male role models who certainly pushed him to be the man we all see today, and it goes beyond the basketball court. He isn’t one of my favorite players on the court, but again as a Black man, seeing him be a good husband to his kids, and his wife since his high school days, and now a father who plays in the NBA, but in his off time makes it to his son’s games, is a standard and reminder to me that no matter how busy I get with work and in life, I need to still make time for kids.
Back to my father though, growing up, and even still, there was one movie that every day as a child I would watch. The Lion King was that movie, and every day, and I mean EVERY DAY, when my dad got off of work, and came home I would have the movie setup and ready to go! I remember waiting by the door and saying:
“Daddy, come sit and watch Lion King with me!”
Knowing he did it the previous day, and the day before that and so on. But guess what? He did it, and it made me happy, and that what made him happy. In a previous post I talked about the father that James Earl Jones portrayed in the play, Fences by: August Wilson, and the powerful message Troy gives his son about managing expectations and what a father ultimately is and does for a family, so in that I won’t repeat putting that in this post. But thinking about other powerful scenes I have seen in my life, the scene from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, that will Smith did a sensational job talking about his father or lack-there-of of one is powerful, and gives a perspective on father-ship too. It can be viewed at the bottom of this post. Another example of what not to be in a father, and what every child ultimately wants, and needs out of a father, and it is all the above I have mentioned, and more!
You know going back to the Lion King there is a scene in the movie where Simba, and his father Mufasa are having a conversation about Mufasa always being there for Simba, and Mufasa tells him basically one day he won’t be there physically, but whenever he needs guidance, all he has to do is look to stars and know that he is somewhere in my heart still guiding me in every aspect. (Both scenes will be included at the end of this post.) Both scenes, very powerful, especially in my heart each and every time I view them. One day I will strive to be the best father to my children, and husband to my wife, and all the above that it takes to be a good man! There are so many examples of how my dad has impacted, and made a difference in my life, this blog post doesn't even scratch the surface of it, but again, all I will say is that I am blessed beyond reason for my dad, and all the great things he's influenced, helped, and protected my brothers, and I over our lives, and continues to do. The best gift I can one day give my kids, and family is my time and effort, as my father gave me. I love my dad, he means the world to me, and I am very blessed to have him in my life!