Fatherhood is key to the health and wealth of society.
Yet, there are so many children who miss out on the joys of having a father.
I have been blessed to have an extraordinary man as my Father in Emmanuel Chijindu.
Thus I have a healthier view of what Fatherhood is and can be.
I am dedicating this blog article to him and all the Fathers who take their responsibility as Father seriously.
An Ode to my father
In a world where men abandon their children, you have always been present.
I close my eyes, and I can hear your boisterous voice.
I can picture you taking off your glasses and laughing out loud. You know the belly laugher that comes from deep within after you tell one of your super funny jokes.
Thanks for the laughter throughout the years.
Weaved around the stories you tell, your sense of humour drips and spills into every part of our lives.
You are a light, brightly shining.
Yet you also disciplined us when necessary.
As a child, I was afraid of hurting you.
Now I am scared of disappointing you.
You set my siblings and me on a straight and narrow path.
You always said it was for our good. And you were right.
Adventures in Fatherhood
I love that our relationship has only grown more robust as the year’s pass.
When you took me to University at 18, things changed for the better.
I cried so much that day you left me outside Alpha, the girl’s dorm at Biola.
But it was for the best. I got the chance to spread my wings and fly and experience the world on my own.
Deep down, you knew I was ready.
You and Mama and your network of family and friends and teachers had raised me well.
Now we are close friends. Papa, you know me so well. You can quickly detect when I am sad. You usually can tell by my voice when you call. Within a few minutes, you always find a way of getting me laughing at something silly.
When I need a sounding board, you are there. You have always respected my intellectual abilities. You see me as a wise woman, and that is such a secure place to be.
It’s from you I learned to venture out into the world.
You taught me to try new things even though they might appear scary.
You call yourself a reluctant missionary, but you are one of the bravest men I know.
We have moved so many times to count. Yet you quickly settle and make new friends.
Papa, you have come a long way from the 15-year-old who escaped death and had to live life without a father killed in a war suddenly.
You didn’t let the loss stop you. Instead, you resolved to be the Man your Father taught you to be.
While your father never travelled outside Nigeria, he gave you the tools you needed to be a man wherever you are.
You have travelled across nations. Yet you never lost sight of who you are, even as you embraced people from different cultures.
You taught us the same through words and your actions. The result is the global citizens who you have raised who can still thrive back in their ancestral home.
You set the bar high.
You have shown by example what it means to be a parent.
It’s not always about money.
But quality time with loved ones.
Papa you gave us space to be ourselves.
As a Father, you did your best to provide the resources we needed to grow our talents and skills.
Papa, you have set us up for success by exposing us to different worlds in your travels. Thus expanding the way we see things. You made sure we got to take trips and experience nature in the different countries we lived in as missionaries.
Yet you remain humble, always willing to learn new things.
I strive every day to make you proud.
I pray that I marry a man who will be a good father to my children as I also do my part as a good mother because our rich heritage is worth passing on to the next generation.