You know they say it is moma’s baby and pappa’s maybe. However I say as long as there is a sexual relationship there is a possibility that one could be the father unless proven otherwise. As far as I know I am the daddy of said child Nashonda Lavette Dancy born April 1, 1987 in Nash County. I do know that I paid child support for 18 years.
I am a firm believer that there should always be a line of communication between the parents of said child even if they are no longer in a relationship.
It is sad that when there is a child born and there is no communication between the parents. In my situation the communication lasted as long as it did because I kept it going.
The story goes as follows:
The year of 1987 was a good year for me. I started a new highly paid job at Bendix Aerospace Company now known as Honeywell Inc. in January. I was a weekend drinker however when I started on this job I said that I would be dealing with peoples live so I refused to drink even on the weekend. I also said I had a child on the way and I would not allow my child to see me drink. I said I could not tell my child that it was not good for her however I continue to do so.
My oldest child NaShonda Lavette Dancy was born a few months later on April 1, 1987. I was working a part-time job cleaning up at the same place where my daughter’s mother worked in the evening time. However I quit that job and kept the baby after the mom went to work on 2nd shift. My baby girl’s mom lived with her elderly grandma and she kept the baby while the mom worked. I was there to help her every day until the mom got off work at night.
Because the mom was not ready to give up clubbing and etc. it was not working out. I questioned the mom about something that I found in her possession that I will not mention. I was buying all the clothes, milk and etc. every week and the mom didn’t have to buy a thing. I remember so well going to the old Ames Department Store in Tarboro buying nice outfits every week for my baby girl. Sherrie Pittman (maiden name) worked there and she used to tease me every week talking about how I loved my baby girl. Sherrie mom worked with my dad.
The early part of 1988 I had to take my baby girl’s mom to court to get visitation rights however I was sending clothes, pampers and monies to the mom but she refused to allow me to see my baby girl. Mind you we lived walking distance from each other. She had to go by my house on a daily basis to get to Pinetops.
This is the same baby moma that I bought her high school class ring, taught how to drive and since I had 2 cars, I let her keep one of my cars during the week until she eventually bought her a car. And then she bought a brand new Chevrolet Chevette and I had a brand new Chevrolet Camaro Z28 and I let here keep it a lot.
In the early 90’s my baby girl’s moma moved 4 hours one way to Waldorf Maryland because she thought I was not going to continue my visitation and I had to literally find them. Although I had went through 2 lawyers, I had to do all the work while they continuously took my money.
I had my visitation rights set up so that I would go to pick up my daughter every holiday and every 2 weeks in June, July and August during the summer months. Many of the holidays consisted of 3 days at the most so therefore I spent around 8 – 11 hours traveling because we would stop and eat breakfast on the way back and then stop and eat lunch.
I was working 2nd shift during the majority of that time so I would work Friday night to 12:15 AM on Saturday morning and I would drive home about 30 miles away and lay down until about 3:30 AM and then leave home about 4:00 AM and go back by my workplace to get on I-95 to go to Maryland. I would arrive in Maryland between 8:00 AM and 8:30 AM. I would get back home between 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM. I had to find someone to ride with me so that I would not have to ride by myself. There were many times that I drove all the way there and all the way back, however I did the majority of the driving if someone else rode with me. I would take my baby girl back on Sunday evenings leaving out about 3:00 PM and arriving back home between 1:00 AM and 2:00 AM on Monday morning.
The sad part though is that many times my baby’s moma would leave to come to NC right behind me later that day. And then when she was here in NC she would leave a couple of hours before me to go back home just so she could be there when I got there. Now this was crazy as hell because my daughter could have rode to NC with her and rode back to Maryland with her but nope she made me drive there and back. There were several times that she was not home and I rode around and waited for her. There were about 2 times that she was not home and after waiting for a while I brought my daughter back to NC. I will never forget my moma was sick with a terminal illness and my baby’s moma went to the Sheriff Department. They called me at work and I told them if she wanted to pick up my daughter that she was at my house and they could go there to get her because I was not going back to Maryland. They had the Sheriff deputy to go with them to my house while I was at work (on the day shift at this time) to pick up my baby. I said she didn’t have to take the Sheriff deputy, all she had to do was to go pick her up because I know I was not going back to Maryland.
I took the ride to Maryland a many of times hoping that they would be there so it would not be a wasted trip. Several times I called before going and when I got no answer, my mind told me not to go. So what I did was called to New Port News Virginia and that is where I found them so I went there instead. But the mom didn’t call me to tell me they were there.
During the time my baby girl was between 3 and 4 years old, every time I took her back to Maryland she cried and did not want to stay in Maryland. My riders can witness what they seen especially my girlfriend, now my wife. She was good to my daughter and during that time we had no other children. I only fought for visitation rights and never thought about trying to take my baby girl from her mom although so many folks who knew me and the moma often said I ought to try to get custody. I feel that a girl should be with the moma and I refused to think otherwise although it hurt me to see my child cry so bad until she spit up.
When my baby girl started school I stayed in contact with the school and I remember visiting her middle school one Monday after taking her back on that Sunday. I spent the night at the motel and visited her school the following day. My daughter had on the same clothes that she wore back that Sunday. I always let her keep her clothes because I didn’t need them here and they were better than what she had at home from what I had seen. I had to go buy some more clothes every time she came to visit.
My girlfriend now wife lived in New Bern which is about 60 miles (1.5 hours) away so the majority of the time on Sunday she would ride with me back to Maryland to take baby girl. I would drive to Maryland and then back to Pinetops where I live and then would take my girlfriend home to New Bern. Since I was on 2nd shift I did some resting and then made it back home before daybreak and rested some more to go to work that evening.
And then there was baby girl #2 who was born on February 20, 1991 by the name of India Matita Dancy. They had some good times together along with my cousin’s daughter.
My parents loved my baby girl Shonda. I was the only child my parent’s had together so she was spoiled when she came to stay with us.
I remember going to Maryland and noone was at home on atleast 2 occasions and I said this is getting old and I don’t have time to keep playing games with my baby girl’s moma. My moma was terminally ill and I just was not able to continue the fight. My parents really wanted to see my daughter as much as I did but I felt that it was time that I had to back off and hopefully that baby girl would get older and try to make some arrangements to come visit with us. I would call her from time to time however the phone calls faded away. So I wonder what was the moma teaching baby girl but it is all good.
When my mother’s terminal illness began to take a toll on her for a couple of years, my girlfriend and I discussed that we would get married and she would come live with us so she could help me and my dad while my dad and I worked. Well I went to work one Friday morning at 5:00 AM and got off at 9:00 AM. I went home and picked up baby girl and we went to New Bern and I got married at the Justice of the Peace (Magistrate’s Office). My baby girl Shonda, baby girl #2 India, my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law were our witnesses.
When my mother passed in 1997 my baby girl nor her mother attended the funeral after I called them. I was even willing to go to Maryland to pick her up. I was hurt however I had to take care of business. This really hurt my dad. However I do think I remember someone saying that baby girl may have visited the hospital to see my mom on one occasion.
And then on August 24, 1998 my baby boy Curmilus Dancy III (CJ) was born and he looked just like baby girl Shonda when she was born because she did not have much hair. Everyone said baby girl and CJ looked just like I did when I was a baby and growing up.
On September 1999 the flood of the century swept through my community and my house was flooded. In December 1999 my family and I was living in a camper trailer in my aunt’s backyard. This would be the last time my daughter came to visit us. If you recall this was right before the snipers a father and son were randomly shooting and killing folks between Washington and Virginia on I-95 were arrested. This was the route that I traveled to Maryland so this was scary but I was not going back and forth during that time.
During Christmas 1999 this would be the last time baby girl would come and visit us. I called to Maryland and didn’t get any answer so I called to New Port News and this is where I found them. I remember the conversation real well when I asked to speak to baby girl’s moma and she said so are you coming to get her. I said yes. I made up my mind that I would not be trying to run them down because I had a family now and a son who was only a little over a year. He had asthma real bad and had to have treatments so my time was valuable. For about 3 years he went in the hospital every year but thanks be to God that he do not have to take the treatments and it appears he is growing out of his asthma just like baby girl #2 India did.
So over the years I would run into baby girl when some of her family members funeral was held in Pinetops. We would talk however I didn’t bother her about going to visit my family since she was with her family because she was home for a special occasion.
I could have stopped my child support when baby girl turned 18 in April 2005 but I went to see the Clerk of Court and told her I wanted my support to continue until the end of June because I thought she got out of school then but I believe she got out in May. Later that year I received a refund check for a month’s child’s support but I do not think that had anything to do with my continuing to pay until June.
I never received any school pictures and I only got to see some high school graduation pictures because one of baby girl’s aunt her moma’s sister shared them with me.
About 3 years ago my wife, baby girl #2 and CJ went to the local high school graduation about a mile from our house at my alma mater and now baby girl #2 India’s alma mater. Guess what? They spent some time with baby girl Shonda and they exchanged cell phone numbers. This was the first time CJ had seen his sister because the last time he was in her presence, he was only a little over a year old. We communicated with baby girl for maybe 6 to a year however we have not been able to reach her.
I was in Walmart late last year in Tarboro and someone told me baby girl Shonda was in the store however CJ and I looked for her but we didn’t find her. We think she may had left the store.
There is not a day that I do not think about my moma who is resting in peace and my baby girl. However I will not be able to see my moma on this side but there is hope that I may be able to see baby girl.
One thing though that has troubled me is that both my baby girl’s moma and stepdad have been preaching for serveral years and I just wonder have they got it right with Jesus because they sure have not gotten it right with me as much hell as they took me through trying to keep me from seing my baby girl. But I ain’t mad with them because I believe without a shatter of a doubt I can truly say I am Greatful.
The Lord has blessed me with 2 more children however I love all 3 the same.
So to my brothers who read this, it has been tough holding this in until now and tonight I just had to let it go. I have no regrets because I feel I have done my part. Although I had to pay child support and spent a couple of thousands to lawyers who I had to hire to make my visitation rights legal and making adjustments as needed, I would do it all over again because I feel I would be less of a man by not trying to do my part. Maybe I could have done more because I have my faults as well, however I feel I tried to do my best to be there for my child. I had some strong support from family especially my wife who treated my baby girl just like her own.
Brothers it was hard watching my baby girl’s moma trying to make another man my baby’s daddy when I was doing the right thing. The saddest part though is the brother was going along with the program when I tried to treat him with respect and trying to make him understand that he didn’t have to worry about me trying to get back with my baby’s moma because it was obvious that it was not going to work out so it was best that we go our separate ways.
Brothers I challenge you to pay your child support and try to spend some time with your child. You see in the final analysis it was not about me but about the child. Some folks do not recognize and understand that when you have children it is no longer about you but about a child who didn’t ask to come into this world. I have nothing for a brother who do not want to pay child support.
Curmilus Dancy II
Note: I have been wanting to share this story for several years however I have been putting it off. Tonight a voice spoke to me and said the time has come that I must do what I have to do because my story may touch a brother who may be going through. And since I preach that I am my brother’s keeper, then I can’t continue to hold back my message.
Note: Updated – Saturday, September 5, 2009