By Caprice Coleman
I want to take this dose to talk about something I’m thankful for.
I got married in June 2003, and for a long time my wife assumed my stepfather was my biological father because he and I had a good relationship. After she found out that he was my stepfather, she became curious about who my father was.
I had lived most of my life without having a relationship with my biological father.
My wife constantly asked me to reach out to him. She said one day we are going to have children and they need to know who their “people” are. At that time, she was a couple months pregnant with our oldest son.
I responded in hatred, because even though my mother never really spoke bad of my father, I developed a bitterness toward him. I saw how my mother had struggled as a single parent. Later, I found out that he remarried.
When I was growing up and people would ask about my father, I would say, “I ain't got no dad.” When my wife was asking about him, it happened to be around the time that I had a Ring of Honor tryout at the RexPlex in Elizabeth, N.J. It was less than an hour away from New York City where my father lives.
She finally talked me into contacting him and inviting him to the show. So I reluctantly called after getting his number. He answered and said yes. He acted like he was happy to hear from me.
The drive up to New Jersey from North Carolina felt like the longest trip of my life. I spent most of it trying to prepare myself for a phone call with him saying something like: “Hey, I can't make it this time. I promise you I'll come to the next one.”
I’m sure my wife saw more emotions out of me on that ride than she had seen in our whole relationship to that point.
Finally, we arrived at the RexPlex. I was backstage when I got the call from my father. I walked outside of the locker room because I didn't know what I was going to hear or how I’d react. I answered the phone expecting to hear rejection.
After what seemed to me like a long pause, he said: “I'm here in the parking lot. I'm not sure how to come in.”
He came! Not only did he come, but he brought my aunt, my uncle and a few of my cousins as well! I was truly overwhelmed!
After the show, they talked us into going back to NYC with them to see my father’s mother and stay with them for a couple days. At 27 years old, I was spending time with a side of my family I had not seen since I was 14.
From that day forward, my father and I have remained in contact.
The only set of grandparents I knew had already passed, and now here I was with my paternal grandmother. My children have four sets of grandparents! This could never have happened if I would have remained fine with not speaking to my father again.
As my relationship with my father grew, I had a chance to ask him his side of the story. Just like my mom, he never said anything bad about her.
My parents were young when they had me. Hasty decisions were made that as an adult I totally understand. I forgave my father and my mom. I also realized that the bitterness I had for him was self-inflicted. I manifested it into my truth.
My wife has provided a legacy for my children that I never did. They have been raised in a home with both parents and have a multitude of grandparents.
I guess you can tell when I said “four sets of grandparents” that neither one of our biological parents’ relationships made it. However, they are all a part of our lives. Our children love them equally and dearly.
It makes Christmas extremely easy for my wife and I as far as presents for the kids are concerned. We just sit back and watch the show!
I guess what I'm saying is, I had to get past myself to open up this relationship. I did it for children that I hadn't even had yet. I wouldn't change that decision for anything in the world.
I'm thankful for people like my wife who see the bigger picture in life. She showed me how important it is for a person to know their history.
Just something to think about. I call it a dose of Colemanism.
Caprice Coleman is ROH’s color analyst and has been wrestling for more than 20 years. He also is an ordained minister and motivational speaker. “A Dose of Colemanism” appears every Thursday.