Before today, 18th February 2017, I’d have been the first to tell you and anyone who asked that my father never gave me nothing, maybe except my independence.
He wasn’t the type to share mushy feelings or make grand gestures. He wasn’t the type to spend time explaining why a certain decision was best, why he spent so much time away from home or why he didn’t have more money to spend on “all the things all our friends had.”
My dad is and has always been old-school. His thinking is as long as it works, why change it. Why build a house that fits normal’s standards? Why buy a new car when the old one still moves? Really why do anything you don’t truly want to do even if it’s to make your little princesses happy.
The things that used to annoy me the most about my dad are all my favorite parts of me now.
I pride myself on not living by people’s standards. I have few friends so I don’t have to deal with so many opinions, fit standards for someone my age, or explain why I do the silly shit I do. I’m quick to remind folks that they don’t own me and I pay my own way. I’m building my own company to retire early – the same sin I could barely forgive him for when I was younger.
My dad has lived his life to never ask us for a thing. He did what he had to do – sent us to school, gave us clothes and shelter. I can remember his true astonishment every time we demanded more. I remember him trying to explain (on the rare occasions when he did) that his life and time were his own.
Thank God we finally grew up, grew up out of our angst. Thank God I got the chance to see how much he truly cares – his lips shaking, his eyes full of tears in front of our “entire” village, as he proudly and sadly gave my sister away in marriage to her husband.
I bless God that I got this chance to see that just because he loves himself doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love, care and wish us well with every fibre of his being.
I love you, dad. You made me me by being truly you ❤