Here is An UNSCRIPTD Journey written by Robert D. Jackson:
My father passed away when I was five years old to gun violence in Houston, TX at the age of twenty-three.
On January 11, 2017, 18 years after his death, I decided to begin a spiritual journey with my father around the world to inspire, empower and support young men with similar backgrounds through arts, education and entrepreneurship.
But I would like to take you back to the day that changed me forever.
It was Monday, January 11th, 1999. I was five years old and attending day care down the street from my apartment complex. My father was supposed to pick me up to go get a haircut, but my mother arrived instead. Typical five-year-old self was overjoyed per usual and I remember darting down the hallway to embraced my mother who looked a little “off”. I remember asking “Mommy, what’s wrong?” She responded with “nothing baby. Mommy is okay.”
We walked to the front office where she greeted the receptionist and mumbled something that I could not understand. “Do you have any extra tissue?,” she asked the lady sitting behind the counter. “Of course,” the lady responded. As the lady handed her a box of tissue, we began to make our way out of the door and into the car.
My mom buckled me all up and was doing her best to keep herself together. I could tell something was off. As she began driving, I noticed that we were not going our usual route home and realized that we were headed to my auntie’s house.
“Mommy! Mommy! We are going to Auntie’s house! I know where we are going.”
“You are correct baby. We are headed to your auntie’s house.”
“Will daddy be there?”
Pause. No response.
“Mommy! Mommy! Will daddy be there?”
By this point my mother was holding back tears and doing her best not to break down.
“No daddy is not going to be there,” she said.
“Why not? Where is daddy?”
As you can tell at five years old I asked a lot the questions.
“Well…daddy went to heaven to be with Jesus.” She knew that my grandmother had been taking me to Sunday school and teaching the youth about God and Jesus so she knew I would understand.
“Oh…but he did not say goodbye.”
According to my mother, the second she explained that “daddy went to heaven to be with Jesus” there was a wash of calmness that kept me content until we arrived at my auntie’s house.
When we got to my auntie’s home…all you could hear were people sobbing and mourning. I remember looking at all the adults and explaining to them what happened.
“Daddy went to heaven to be with Jesus,” I told each guest that entered the home.
“What did he just say?,” my auntie quickly turned to me and asked me to repeat myself.
“It’s okay. Daddy went to heaven to be with Jesus.” My auntie was shocked. She turned to my mother and said “Wow! He is something else.”
Moments after arriving to a home that felt cold and deserted, I remember everyone rushing to the television to see the local news broadcasting the incident and crime scene of my father’s death.
“They took him. They took my baby!” My auntie, who raised my father for most of his life, screamed and cried until she made her way to the floor, helpless and defeated. Since she started crying which made me cry. I missed my daddy.That was the last memory I have of that day and since then I have carried my father with me.
I am my father’s son and I will continue to keep his legacy alive.
This is my UNSCRIPTD Journey,
Message from UNSCRIPTD: Please check out Robert’s current journey here on his website and if you would like to support his goal of reaching and engaging 1 Million Black & Brown Boys through arts, education, and public speaking, you can do so on his GoFundMe page!