On Wednesday, the Jumanji star, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, lost his father, Rocky Johnson, who was a wrestling legend. While the causes are currently unknown, it’s certainly something that was unexpected at the time for Johnson and his family.
Breaking his silence for the first time since the unfortunate passing of his father, Johnson took to Instagram to share an emotional post that not only highlighted the life he lived but also to share his gratitude for the guidance that turned him into the man he is today.
I love you,” Johnson began the lengthy post. “You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world.”
“I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar. The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am. The boy you raised with the toughest of love,” he continued. “The intense work. The hard hand. The adoring boy who wanted to know only your best qualities. Who then grew to become a man realizing you had other deep complex sides that needed to be held and understood. Son to father. Man to man.”
And although the two had begun to get close in recent years, Johnson still had some regrets regarding things he didn’t get a chance to say to his late father.
For Johnson, while he is grateful for all his father did for him, he wishes that he had one more opportunity to tell his father that he loved him.
“Grateful that you gave me life. Grateful you gave me life’s invaluable lessons,” he continued. “Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back,” he wrote.
“I’m in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass. Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish.”
Sad news for the Johnson family.
We just learned of the death of Mr Rocky Johnson.
Mr Johnson was a great wrestler, but above all, he was a brother, a husband, a father, a grandfather.
We send our sincere condolences to the Johnson family.
— Wrestling Universe News ℹ (@WrestlingsRoots) January 16, 2020
In conclusion, Johnson was relieved that his father would no longer be in pain and that he could ‘rest his soul’, finally. “Pain free, regret free, satisfied and at ease. You lived a very full, very hard, barrier breaking life and left it all in the ring. I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son. Go rest high,” he shared.
It’s safe to say that Johnson’s father was proud of his son, even till his last days that he was alive. The Rock initially followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a wrestling star and phenom, only to later break into acting, taking on roles in major films over the last several years.
Rocky Johnson, himself, was a legendary wrestler in his own right. During the height of his career, he earned the designation of National Wrestling Alliance Georgia Champion, as well as, NWA Southern Heavyweight Memphis Champion. Later on in life, he would go on to partner with Tony Atlas to become the first black World Tag Team Championship in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).
WWE issued a formal statement following the news of Johnson’s death. “WWE is saddened to learn that Rocky ‘Soul Man’ Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles), a WWE Hall of Famer and former World Tag Team Champion, has passed away at age 75,” they lamented.
We're sad to hear of the death of #RockyJohnson (1944–2020) — WWE Hall of Fame wrestler + father of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
He was half of the first African American World Tag Team champions in WWE history, known as "The Soul Patrol" https://t.co/kqXBwvpQIP
— getTV (@gettv) January 16, 2020