Hmmmm…..actually I don’t even have any. I don’t even know his name. You’d think after being on this earth for 20+ years I’d know the man who helped bring me into this world. But I don’t. I’m sure I’m not the only one on this earth wandering around trying to find the other half of my identity. It has become cliché that nobody really bothers anymore. Today with the many horrors of dysfunctional families having one or both parents it makes for a by the way conversation. It’s no longer shocking to say the least. Sad but that is the true reality.
My story is no different than the thousands of stories of kids who have only one parent not because the parent is dead but because he or she could not bother to take care of the fruit of their womb… in this dance of life, when everything else does not make sense and in the fast lane there’s no time to make sense or make excuses for what is right. It is father’s day month and I’m like so what is it to be a father, so in my own little mind I know that a Father’s love is there. I wonder where he is or even if he is still alive. Does he have another family like do I have a step brother or sister? What about my paternal grandparents are they still there? Those are the questions I argued in my mind.
When I was young I hated people talking about how their dad does this or that, what he buys them. I told everyone he was dead… well that’s what I was told to say and I think at the back of my mind I believed that. I kind of had mixed feelings about my dad. I would make up stories in my mind and fantasize about playing with him, running towards him and all that. But one thing remained constant; he was always faceless in my mind. I didn’t know which face to put even when I tried to imagine he looked like me, the faceless figure was what I had. In my teenage years after waiting for the dad that never came, I began to hate him for leaving us, blaming him for everything that was wrong in my life. Then came days where I would regret him not being there for me and mum. It seemed like every emotion I had was geared towards hating, being angry at, even missing him. Then maybe I grew up or I saw no point in being angry at him anymore so I began to pray for him and whatever family he had. Later on towards my twenties, he kind of faded away from my mind. I was accepting the fact that it was just me and mum.
Maybe he was the one or not. I just vaguely remember a man visiting us and staying over and he’d be gone for ages. Then there was a time I was at home with mum and a man came into the house. He greeted us and said na umekuwa mkubwa (you have really grown) I won’t forget those words but what I’ll never forget is mum’s reaction to his presence. She had this angry-get-out-of-here look in her eyes that seemed to be filled with bitterness and resentment. Suffice to say the man didn’t even stay for long or even sit down and that was the last I saw of that man. Mum never talked about it and I never asked but in my mind and heart I knew without a doubt that maybe…just maybe he’s the other part of me. Now I am just indifferent I have been fine thus far so no need to rattle old ghosts. Somehow I understand why mum never liked or trusted men. Someone close to me told me that my dad had beat mum one time when she was five months pregnant with me she almost miscarried me. You can’t imagine the anger that swept through my blood! How dare he? Here I was hoping that I would meet the man who I would call dad and then to hear that he hurt mum! That was it, it was over for me. I wasn’t going to waste any more tears for a man who had no respect for a woman. That is probably why mum decide it was better for him not to be around me.
Today I have made peace with myself that I didn’t have a dad of my own. It is all in the past and I can honestly say I have forgiven and forgotten. I had so many questions to ask; now mum is not there to answer them, maybe it’s for the best all I know is that there was a time the two of them must have been getting along.
Father’s day is for those, who were brave enough to stick it out through thick and thin. Whatever happened between my parents had an impact on how I saw myself. Maybe him not being there made me a much stronger person because I felt like if I am not strong then who else is there? Mum only had me so being brave was not an option. My self esteem took a beating but I dusted myself off and knew life isn’t what you wish it to be. Regrets are part of life and sure there are things I would do differently given a chance to go back and change them. But being here for mum is one thing I would never change. I would gladly go over it again and again a thousand times because our moments together are the best times.
Maybe he regrets leaving or whatever but tough luck he missed a chance to watch me grow and become this strong resilient person that I believe I am. He won’t get the chance to say that’s my daughter! When I have made it. Pains, tears, hurts, they have made me who I am as its all part of life. I won’t hate him because after all he is my dad, and it’s all a waste of my time. Though I would have given anything to erase those bad feelings that mum had towards him. My life is okay and I am okay at least I take it day by day. Each new morning gives me a reason to smile, even those days when I can’t help my eyes from welling up I know the next day will be better and it usually is. That is why I swore that I will never let my child grow up without a father in his/her life. Everything I felt then I don’t want mine to go through. You know fathers are supposed to protect when the day’s trials come like wind, temptations like a Tornado, when problems are like a whirlpool and fear becomes as wide as an Ocean.
Whenever the journey is like climbing a Mountain, deep inside you feel as hollow as a cave and sufferings coming in a blizzard. All the emotions piling up like an iceberg and sometimes when friends disappear like the summer rain, he should be there. Each tome hope falls down like bronzed autumn leaves and your freezes up like snow pain burning like the Sahara desert. In life a smile will seem as far as the horizon he should be there from the start. He should be more than your best friend. His hand keeping you safe and holding you, His love should be a burner in the middle of the night. Every day should be father’s day.
Just like Luther Van dross sang how I would have loved to dance with my father.
For someone to decide to have a child you must be willing to stick it out. I am proud of fathers who make it their life mission to ensure that their kids are never harmed. And it is such fathers that I salute and pray that God adds to them many more years that they see their great-great-grand kids and to the father who raised me…HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY
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