Today we celebrate Father’s Day and many of us have organised beautiful dishes and gifts to share with someone very dear. Some may be grieving the loss of their beloved father, but have beautiful memories. This brings me to a story of a man I have known to be a son, a husband, a cook, a pet lover, a comedian and most importantly, my father. It was not until I was about eight years old that I realised the grandfather I knew was not my dad’s biological father. I often heard my dad saying, “‘I work hard for my family, because yuh see me, I never know my father!’” or “‘appreciate the food I make, not to waste it, because plenty children have none!’” I had an aha moment when I finally understood what he was saying; he never knew his dad so he did his best to be a good provider for his family.
I remember on those gloomy and rainy days at primary school I would always stay back and wait for my dad for I was sure he would come for me. My school was on a hill and I would glance downwards to see my knight in shining umbrella. Those days there were no cellular phones to call each other. It was a time when we had more trust and we as a people had to be more reliable. When I was a teenager in secondary school a friend of mine told me she was jealous of the relationship I had with my dad. She explained that she never knew her father and that having spent time with my family she had grown to love my dad. I told her we can share him and she too called him daddy. I never knew what not having a father felt like, but I felt her sadness and thought I could help. My father is a fun-loving, active and vivacious man. He is a mother and a father to me and is a blessing from God. I often tell him, “Who can ask for a better father!”
On occasions when he got angry he would turn red with fury, express himself loudly and start stuttering; that is when you know daddy is really angry—when he stutters. Even in anger he shows his unwavering love, he is very vocal in his expressions. I learnt early when my behaviour was unacceptable because he never concealed his feelings. My father taught me many lessons about life, he taught me to care for others through his gestures of generosity. Each day he went to work he always returned with something for his family, whether it be food, fruits or toiletries. A caregiver he was when he cooked, washed and baked for his family. He puts his heart into each effort, I guess that is why the food is so delicious. He is also a firm believer of freedom of speech. He always says, “‘Talk yuh mind.’” This is a practice that has become a great part of my character as a young woman. I am grateful that he is a man that respects my feelings and opinions.
Now an adult, I have so many memories I can treasure. He is my friend, my sunshine on rainy days and he always makes us laugh. I feel safe, happy and secure being his daughter. My dad is the eldest of his siblings in a family of ten, so he had to help more than usual in the household. I can only imagine how it must have been for him and I often ask him to tell me the many stories which sometimes bring tears to my eyes. He deserves to be honoured just like many other fathers. He strived to be the best father even though he never knew his own dad. The love he has given to my brother and I can hardly be summed up in mere words. I would not change my father for anything. Although he is not perfect I accept him just as he is—the good, the bad and the ugly, he is the best father to me. On this Father’s Day this is my humble way of saying thank you Dad for being my father and friend. May God bless you and all the fathers out there who give their best. Happy Father’s Day.