If you still have your father! │© Fola Daniel Adelesi

Many of us probably do not know and will never realize the weight of the things that our parents, especially our fathers, did for us until we ourselves have become parents. Amongst the many other things I have learnt in the year 2013, I realized a bit of what fatherhood is about having been blessed by a daughter in January. It is now that a number of the things my father tried to do or eventually did makes a lot of sense to me. Today, the 2oth day in December of year 2013 would have been my father’s 60th birthday but he passed on to glory on the 17th of December 2007, just 3 days before his 54th birthday.

I think we sometimes come to that situation where we only appreciate the value of what others have done for us when we have also gone through what they went through. If people told us how to appreciate them, we will only have a face value for what they are doing until when chances or providence put us in the same line with them.

My own father is gone and I obviously miss his strategic, insightful and deliberate counsel. He was such a man who had his own plans and never got distracted by any other thing from anyone. He did so many things that were not so clear to us in the family but I think we now understand. My wife in particular misses the fatherly affection he would have offered her as if she were his own biological daughter having lost her own father two years before my own died.

Writing this for me was also important not just to tell you it would have been my father’s 60th birthday but to ask that you value your own father if you still have him. Think right now about the things you will love to do for him and start trying those things. Don’t wait till he’s dead and start wishing he was alive so that you can change a few things. I also suggest, just in case you are not yet a father, not to wait till you are a father before you understand the price or sacrifices made by your father for you just because they do not seem obvious.

It is also possible that you have, at some point, wished for another father. Your father may not have been perfect. There are a few things you probably would want to change but your father still deserves a nod in some way. I honestly wish I still have my father here for a much longer period. I would have loved to see him pamper my own children that are now coming and take them not just as grandpa but as though he was just experiencing fatherhood. There are a few things also happening in my life right now that probably would have gone down differently if he was here.

Your father may not be the richest man in the world but he, in a way, has been a hero for you. Think about what he went through, if he was there for you all along, to get you through school! What about the times when he probably borrowed money to keep the family going? Have you ever thought about him working several jobs or working very late for because of himself but because of family? What about the insults he endured on jobs he could have dropped but stayed on for what that income means to the family?

It’s your choice to decide how you really will appreciate your father but if you still have him, I think it is important to appreciate him while he’s alive and for those of us who no longer have them and still need a fatherly figure … maybe a coach or adopting another man will do but there’s never a man like your father, regardless of his obvious imperfections!

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