R.I.P. My father: Wayne Monroe Jorden

Dad and I at Wagamama - out next-to-last dinner together

Dad and I at Wagamama – out next-to-last dinner together

There are times in life that seem stressful in the moment – but if/when you “survive” them, they provide material to laugh about. The morning of October 5, 2014, I had booked a taxi to take my father to Leeds Railway Station. He would catch a bus to Huddersfield (renovations were being conducted on the track at that moment), where he would turn board the train for Manchester Airport. The taxi was supposed to arrive at my house at 5:30 a.m., and he would arrive at Leeds Railway Station in plenty of time for the six a.m. bus Unfortunately, the taxi didn’t show up at 5:30 a.m. Ten minutes later, no taxi. Frustrated and nervous, I called the taxi company, who quickly dispatched another cab. That cab arrived at roughly 5:50 a.m. Fortunately, due it to being an early Sunday morning, there was no traffic. However, instead of reminiscing about our time in the U.K., I spent more time looking at the time on my mobile phone – freaking out that we would miss the bus, which would be a major inconvience (Considering the ticket windows wouldn’t be open at six a.m. on a Sunday morning). Dad made the bus by one minute and he made the train to Manchester Airport. I didn’t e-mail immediately but I eventually did. He responded by saying I was a great host and if I ever got a job in London, he would come visit me.

Dad on the docks

Dad on the docks

But as it turns out, the taxi ride would turn out to be something that I would not laugh with him about later. The sight of him getting into the bus would be the last time I saw him. It just so happened that I was in London earlier this week when I got some frantic e-mails from family: Wayne Monroe Jorden, my beloved father, had been fatally struck by a car. I can’t express the pain I feel in words. I throughly enjoyed his visit and I am really glad he could make it to the U.K. Unfortunately, I couldn’t show him everything I wanted during his time in the country. But it meant a lot to me that he came and enjoyed his visit. I was really looking forward to coming home and seeing him in January 2015.

Dad and my sister Jamila at PHL before I left for England

Dad and my sister Jamila at PHL before I left for England

I will miss my father. Among other things, I will miss the confidence he had in me to succeed, his vast knowledge of diverse topics, his idiosyncracies, his presence at track meets and his cooking.

Like everyone else, he experienced his share of heartbreak. But although he mentioned to me while he was in England that he felt like an old man, there were still so many more good times for him to have, deep conservations for him to engage in and amazing moments to enjoy.

Dad at a family reunion

Dad at a family reunion

However, I will always cherish the memories I have of him being a presence in my life.

I like this shot

I like this shot



  1. Sakinah Ishmael

    Rashaad my deepest sympathy goes out to you and your family…This blog entry brought tears to my eyes…

  2. Fred Minkins

    Deepest sympathy , Wayne was my friend

    • Thanks. I will post information about the funeral arrangements on my Facebook page soon.

  3. oh man Rashaad…..we are so sad to hear this news….we feel so sad right now 😦
    i don’t think I ever told you this, but i lost my father in a freak heart-attack just after his 50th birthday….so in no way do i know your exact pain, but i can relate. and what i can say, and it’s something that helped me deal with loosing my father: I think to myself, he lives on in me (and a little bit in everyone he affected during his life), and i want people to realize how amazing a person he was, and to do that I need to be the best person i can possibly be, always making people smile, and remembering how great a human he was. so i can’t say the pain will go away soon (or ever), but i can say that what i am sure your dad would want, is for you to keep being an awesome person, following your dreams, and living a life that would make him proud.

    • Thank you very much for your response. I never knew about your father. One thing I would like to do in the coming week is ask other people what their memories of my father were so I can learn about what his best qualities are.

  4. Maleeha

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Life is so precious and we take it for granted. Sigh. Thanks for this reminder…

    • Thanks for the message. Yeah, like others, there are times when I have taken life for granted. I’m sure I thought my father would live forever when I was younger. He did have some health issues but he was well enough to see me earlier this month. And I was looking forward to seeing him upon my likely return to the U.S. in January.

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