In honor of Men’s Month at my church I want to take the time out to honor my “Good Man.” Before I speak of what’s unfortunate, I will speak of how fortunate we were as a family. Cleo T. Hudson, Jr. was a good man. He was a loving and caring man towards me. My aunt always laughed and told him, “I know you love my niece because she is not easy to deal with.” Ha! For you intuitive thinkers, she totally meant that he was super blessed with a natural born leader and visionary. Hahahahaha! He actually pursued me when we were teenagers and the treatment that he bestowed upon me was invaluable. He showed me early on in our friendship how a woman was to be treated. Years passed by and we were engaged to be married, it was called off and then finally on again. We had growing pains that sometimes seemed unbearable. There were good times and bad times. We came to an agreement early on that we could conquer anything.
Cleo was meek and seemed less vocal, but once he made one’s acquaintance, he really wasn’t quiet at all. He loved his family and friends. One of the many things I learned from him in life and in death is how to cherish friendships. He was the perfect example of a friend until the end. He loved unconditionally with all of his heart. It shows even now. He has a few friends who continue to check on the girls and call and/or send gifts for birthdays, which means so much to them.
Cleo was an amazing father and extremely hands on with our girls. He never missed an opportunity to spend time with them, which is totally why Chance is a daddy’s girl even now. I remember when my grandmother, Cleo, myself and Chance were at my grandmother’s home and she was staring at Cleo playing with Chance. My grandmother asked Cleo, “You like that little gal, don’tcha?” Cleo laughed and said, “Yes ma’am.” My grandmother often saw the love he had for Chance (she didn’t live to meet Rylee). My uncle and Cleo often spoke of the love he shared for Chance. We were fortunate enough not to put the girls in a childcare center. Cleo kept the girls until noon each day. I remember him sending pics of Rylee’s mischievous behavior throughout the day and thinking it was MAD FUNNY. One day he sent me a pic of her with VASELINE all in her hair. Oh, goodness, I will never forget the pic he sent when she put purple lipstick all over her mouth and face. At one year old, we should have known she’d have a passion for makeup. There are countless stories that I could share about this good daddy. They were so blessed to have a caring and loving dad.
The unfortunate part of the fortunately is that all we have are memories. I think of how this good man will miss the plethora of milestones that lie ahead for our sweet girls. The thought alone frustrates the heck out of me. My girls and I speak of this good man, this good dad, this good husband everyday of our lives and we don’t take for granted the memories that were made. Most say this good dad made more memories in seven years for Chance and two years for Rylee than most. While that does not give much comfort, we are glad that there are moments in time that provide joy. Today, GOOD MAN, I salute you for the legacy and the love that remains as a result of knowing you. So much love to you all.