Hey there cowboy. This is something that I don’t do usually but the tide of emotions warrant it.
I used to resent you when I was younger, for being an absentee father when I was faced with my biggest emotional encounters. Whenever I was down and out, I mustered the courage to suck it all up, and never let an iota of it show to you because of the fear of you disowning me due to my weaknesses. In my mind, I have always thought that you wanted us to portray an image of strength, of indomitable courage, one thing that I have failed in horribly because of my own personal afflictions.
It used to sicken me that whenever I have a conundrum, a dilemma or a challenge to face, you weren’t there. I was always looking on the background for your face, to seek assurance, to seek strength, to seek courage, and it broke my spirit to not see you there. You see, I have always wanted you to be proud of me, something that as a young man, I have rarely felt. Because of this personal frustration, I cried silently a lot of times on my bed just to curtail the abrupt burst of emotions.
The emotional gap would never be bridged, I understand that, because of your own limitations. Those times I was so proud of my accomplishments, I have wanted you to hug me, or at least mutter words of encouragement and congratulations, and it was such a dampener because you rarely ever do so.
But then I grew up, my perspective changed, and I saw things the way I never saw them before, I started to understand. For all your faults and flaws, I have forgiven you because I never wanted to be trapped in my past. After all, I wasn’t a perfect son to begin with., and that nobody is blameless after all. I began to understand why you emotionally distanced yourself, it was because it never suited your style. You have just wanted to be the guy on the background as we take on the podium. I know that the only thing you wanted was to picture us on your mind as we bathe in the limelight of our personal triumphs. I always thought you weren’t there, but now I understand, that you have always there for me, for my brother and for my mom.
It was a challenge for me growing up because I felt like I was a fish out of the water. I know you wanted us to learn how to be independent, how to do things on our own because that was how you grew up. I have always resented this concept when I was young because I have inculcated into my system the ideal image of a father I wanted to have – one who lifts me up when I am down, one who would be there in every trial I face, one who would painstakingly try to make me smile whenever I had a bad day.
It used to be the bane of my existence, your being none of the things I have mentioned. But as a friend mentioned, it is your own brand of uniqueness. And as I listen to how my friends talk about their personal resentment towards their own fathers – the beaters, the drunkards, the womanizers, the foul-mouthed ones – I always thank God because we were lucky enough that you were never any of these things.
I also saw the industriousness with which you have built the foundation of our family, as you worked hard to provide for us, and never let us experience the poverty which you’ve grown into. Every time you tell us about your childhood, I am very grateful to you and mom for never letting us experience the things that you did. But I know that with every sentence is a wisdom, a lesson for us to learn on as we take on our personal journeys. Unknowingly, your emotional distance have somehow molded us into warriors, toughened us enough to take on the world, independently and with minds of our own.
Dad, you’ve wielded my brother and I to be brands of the person we wanted to be. Though done stoically and without an inkling of weakness, you have lifted us to a pedestal that we never thought we could reach. Your domineering presence in our lives catapulted us to become every bit of the gentlemen we can. And with your steely determination, you have provided us every thing we needed to succeed in our personal battlefields.
Though we rarely say it, we want you to know how much we love you Dad. We also want to thank you for everything you did for us. I know these words are never enough to show you our appreciation for all the deeds you’ve done but know Dad that deep in our hearts, we are very much blessed by the Lord with such an amazing father. You were never the perfect Father and you never tried to be one, but know that we looked past your shortcomings as we celebrate your unique brand of father-ing.
Lastly Dad, as I greet you a Happy Father’s day, I want to apologize for my shortcomings, for not being the best that I could be. I also know that you’ve looked past these, but I still want you to know how sorry I am for my misdeeds, and for being the prodigal son that I am. I love you to the moon and back, and I know you feel the same way for us too. 😀😀
To all the fathers in the world, though sometimes your deeds are being overlooked, know that us, your children, would have never succeeded hadn’t it been for all of you. Happy happy Father’s Day, though in all honesty I believe that everyday should be used as an opportunity to honor both parents. 😊