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My Papa.

 

I don’t talk about my dad much.

I mean, I got daddy issues. Who doesn’t? He had/has his failings, did a lot of stuff to my mum, to and my siblings – what father hasn’t?

However, to reduce my relationship with the man who gave me life to a couple of disagreements and discontent on my part? That’s unfair.

I love my old man. I do, I really do. I was thinking about some of the memories I have with him and I realize; I love the old man. Failings and all.

Also, because I know beyond all doubt he loves me. Warts and all.

I always brag about how I got the best of both worlds; how God intended for me to be a writer. It’s true. Is it coincidence that I was born to a father who read everything EXCEPT romance and poetry, and a mother who only read romance and poetry? I’m shared this story many a time, but in case you haven’t heard it, when I was fourteen I accidentally burned one of my father’s hardcover ‘Complete Works: Charles Dickens’. He had warned me several times – he and my mother had warned me several times about reading by candlelight and not placing said candle in a holder. At that time, I was young and headstrong. Like every typical youth, I thought I knew everything.

I sha burned half the book when I fell asleep and the candle burned down to it. Damn thing burned a hole in the living room carpet, burned the pillow my head lay on – I still think it’s a miracle my head didn’t burn off.

However, whatever parts the fire missed, my dad’s belt took care of.

After flogging the fat off my behind (I got most of it back tho) he gave me his volume of The Lord of The Rings trilogy, asked me to read and come tell him the story after a week. His memory was a steel trap. If I dared to edit the story in anyway, he would know. He wasn’t asking for details tho, he wanted an accurate summary.

That was my first review.

How can I not love that man?

My father loves music. I got my schooling on Fela/Sunny Ade/Ebenezer Obey/Don Williams/Jim Reeves/Kenny Rogers/The Beatles/Everly Brothers/Elvis Presley/Sam Cooke/Frank Sinatra/Bob Marley/Brenda Fasie/Mariam Makeba/Harry Belafonte/Nat King Cole/Ray Charles/Stevie Wonder and damn near every classical musician from my father. My love of movies comes from him also; from The Three Musketeers to Casablanca to Gone with the Wind to Casino Royale (the Sean Connery first) to every Bond film; from Connery to Dalton that is, to Tom & Jerry to Bugs Bunny to Looney Tunes to –

Damn. I know you just thought my dad is awesome. You can say it out loud.

He is. And I’m damn lucky to have him.

No, he isn’t dead nor dying anytime soon. He is as well as a seventy-seven year old man can be. He’s happy, causing trouble for his neighbors and asking me when I’m getting married. I just thought about him today; a long and oft-happy recollection of my growing years. And I am reminded; how blessed I have been.

I’m grateful. Love you, Papa.

Always.

 

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6 responses

  1. Lol. My friend .

    September 12, 2017 at 9:18 am

  2. Reading this reminds me of my dad too. And I’ve got daddy issues too. My love for reading was ignited by him: him asking me to read the dailies while he helped me with the big words; me, sneaking into his study to steal his books (I remember Charles Dickens especially). He also helped with homework – an accountant reading chemistry books just to be able to oversee my studies, awesome.

    In the midst of the cloud of dust raised by daddy issues, those moments will always help us put things in perspective- they were deeply flawed human beings, who probably could (and should) have done better, but who nevertheless loved us, and showed it in their own way.

    And hopefully, we learn to become a better father to our kids.

    September 12, 2017 at 11:34 am

  3. To celebrate these men who have molded us while they still live is something we should do. You just did that.
    I’m also lucky to have a journalist father who got me reading the dailies very early. Proudly, he has me edit his works now, and I an glad for the interest he has helped me build in reading, and writing. He’s set the standard, I have to raise the bar.

    September 13, 2017 at 4:19 pm

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