“as for your dad you know if he has to sell his teeth to provide for you guys he would” mum
There are so many stories I can tell of my dad and me
Of the man he is
Of the father he is
But no one single story can, on its own, fully tell our story
The story of our becoming
The story of our being
But I will tell one
One that begins with me failing
As a person
As a daughter
You see I recently failed a professional exams and knowing how much my dad had invested in me to ensure that I passed, I was awfully devastated and ashamed. Ashamed because I knew I’d disappointed him. Ashamed because I knew I’d broken his heart. I feared what his reaction would be. I was so scared I literally held my breath while my mum broke the news to him because I couldn’t bring myself to tell him.
What felt like centuries passed and yet the reprimand/rebuke I expected from him never came. Was he disappointed? Yes. Did he at any moment blame me for not working hard enough towards the exams or for just flat out failing? No. His kindness broke my heart. Anger, I would’ve understood. In fact, I was ready for that. But not the kindness, not the love, not the support… at least not as early as they came.
When I was younger, I thought the only way to secure my dad’s love was to bring in the good grades and so that’s what I did. That kind of ”perceived” love was understandable. And so I guess that’s why I feared that I would ”lose face” with him because this time around I failed when it mattered most. Because for me, failing had made me unlovable, a disappointment and a most unpleasant cancer.
“If I have to sell one of my teeth and one of your mother’s breasts to get the money for you I would”. This is my dad’s favourite line whenever one of us needed money for something important and he wasn’t in the position to provide at the moment. Of course he never had to result to such measures but that statement always did the magic of bringing hope into the moment… knowing that dad would do everything he could to get that thing done for us.
My mum recently reminded me of that statement and it immediately brought comfort to my heart. I realised then that for as long as I can remember, dad has never stopped putting us first. All he’s ever done for/to us, as a father, has been in the spirit of our well-being.
I fell face flat in mud and he walked into the mud to pick me and clean me up. Each day he reminds me to not give up on hope, to keep working hard, to take my time without losing focus and that God will grant me victory. By his actions he tells me that no matter what I am his own and I am loved.
The duty of fatherhood is no small task
and as cliche as it may sound
My father is my hero
For loving me in my victories
For loving me in my failures
For showing me what love looks like
For not giving up on me
For encouraging me
For giving me his shoulder to stand on
so I can face life
If I were to be reincarnated a thousand times
I would choose him a thousand and one times over
This is a gratitude post for the man who has not failed my siblings and me in his duty as a dad. This is a gratitude post to the fathers who are responsibly “fathering”. You are loved, you are appreciated.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY