Dad, you may never fully comprehend the joy you have given me in my life. I have had a father, a dad, a best friend and a confidant. You have always noticed when I had tears in my eyes and sorrow in my voice, and with that realization, you did everything in your power to make me smile. They always called me your favorite, but they were wrong, you never played favorites, you love us all equally! You are my hero, my best friend and my inspiration.
I may not have the most accurate perception of a father for some, due to differences in societal upbringing, but I do have the best. I took a moment to look back to at the defining moments in my life transition with my dad. These moments have defined for me what fatherhood entails. Cheers to the man who made all this possible.
HE PRIORITIZES FAMILY
Being there for your children when they need you the most, providing for them even when it puts a strain and smiling when they are happy seems like an easy job but its more complicated. He has always strained to ensure he puts a smile on his family’s face in all circumstances. I can’t recall a day dad put us second when we needed him.
Last year, around December, I fell terribly ill. When I went home, I had lost weight, my clothes no longer fit, it was too emotional. He asked my brothers to make a bed in the spare room next to his bedroom so that he could watch over me. At night, he would call my name just to make sure I was still breathing. In the morning before he left for work, he made me drink warm water, as he stirred porridge in the kitchen, which he would encourage me to drink until I finished a cup before sending me back to bed. He would constantly call to ensure I had taken my meds eaten. Long story short, despite having a busy schedule, he made room for me to ensure I felt loved and cared for. At times being put first enough to put us back on our feet.
ITS NEVER ABOUT THE ROD
Disciplining a child is not all about beating it into them. I do not recall a day my father laid a hand on us. We learnt to respect him rather than fear him. He chose a different way to discipline us and it worked all right. I listened more every time he spoke because I noticed he taught more with his words than the rod.
I was a very notorious child growing up, mischief was my companion. My favorite adventure in lower primary was truancy. This day, my dad drives by our neighborhood and am sitted, with my younger brother, who had joined me in my adventure during class hours to go chew sugarcane. He drove by, but I knew he had seen us. Later that evening, he came home with this serious cane, but he never hit me. He instead gave me a serious lecture on the value of education and threatened to use it next time.
HE INSTILLS RIGHT QUALITIES IN ME
It’s easy for children to pick up habits from parents as they grow up, these habits can either be positive or negative. Dad is very compassionate, he sees the best in the worst of us and channels his energy into bringing out the best version of a person. He does not hold back when giving, and if there is one trait that has rubbed off on us, it is joyful giving., and contentment.
One night as we roamed in town with my younger brothers, we came across a distraught mum with her children in the cold. She said she was lost and hadn’t eaten. I remember my dad watching us as my siblings handed the crying children the reminder of the snacks we were eating and our jackets. We didn’t need to know each other to help, it was the right thing to do. Later that night, when we went home, dad asked us why we did it. The answer was obvious; we did what he would have done if he were in position. We did what we wanted someone else to do for us if we ever were in need.
FATHERS TEACH YOU TO LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH
One thing my father taught me, is that life is to short not to live and laugh. Life is too short to think twice before taking a risk. Life is too short to hold grudges. Life is too short to define love by tribe, color and status. While you can still breathe, live, love and laugh.
When my dad met my brother’s fiancée and my sister’s fiancé, different occasions of course. He did not need to know their tribe or financial background. All he asked was for them to ensure that their children loved and smiled. Happiness was all that mattered in the midst of this earthly confusion and complicated definition of what love was. Am still waiting for my official turn but am sure things will be the same.
NEVER GIVE LESS, NEVER SETTLE FOR LESS
A father shapes the behaviours of his son and gives his daughter guidance on just how a lady should be treated by her man. A father determines if his son will be abusive in his relationships or if his daughter will be too broken to walk away from a broken relationship.
Growing up, I have never witnessed my father lose his temper, degrade or fail to appreciate our efforts or ridicule our ideas. He has been supportive of decisions we have made correcting us when he felt we were going astray.
Encounters with my father in my transition from childhood to teenage hood and finally to adulthood have shown me that life isn’t really complete without a father’s love. We have so many memories together that wouldn’t be expressed easily on paper. Happy father’s day dad, I do not need a day to celebrate you, I celebrate you every day.
Without forgetting, for some of us, the father figures we had in life are our strong mothers, who either by choice or circumstance were forced to raise us alone and they did an amazing job. Bravo to all mothers out there who raised strong sons and daught ers on their own!!!