Chioma’s Letter To Her Father.
Every year I try to do something special for my father’s birthday; last year I wrote him a poem, the year before I wrote a song (and sang it in church) and so this year I wondered if I should write him a play or do a script for a movie, since it seems like his birthdays bring out the creativity in me. Problem was, I couldn’t agree with myself on what theme to use, if I wanted to publish (or if I would want to publish) when I got done and then it occurred to me, why not write him an open letter? Especially in these days when Nigeria is rife with people writing open letters and paying heavily to publish the dirty details of their just as dirty dealings in the name of an ‘open letter’.
Well here’s mine:
How are you, work, and the rest of the family? If all is well, doxology.
Pause. Remember all those old school letters? You know, the ones with ‘ditto’ at the top right hand corner, the time stamps, silly phrases, and a smidgen of perfume (or air freshener) if it was to the opposite sex? And don’t even be fronting like you didn’t send or receive one in your time! Ok, so I digress, let’s get back to the letter.
Happy birthday. It’s amazing how quickly another year has come and gone. You’re stronger, wiser, and aging gracefully (I’m proud to say my dad is as fit as a fiddle)! I bless God for his hand upon your life, I’m grateful I have you, and recently my days have been filled with prayers for two things:
* That the man who ends up stealing my heart is at least half the man you are
* That my kids are blessed like me to know you!
Daddy, growing up was a lot of fun! The movements, transfers and uncertainty of what part of the world my next school holiday would be, and of course the beautiful memories from each of the places.
I remember when I was learning to drive. I knew you were watching me from your ‘all seeing window’ and so I wanted to ‘show myself’, just to impress you. The result? Me crashing into a parked Mercedes and breaking the headlights (don’t be quick to judge; I was speeding and reversing round a tree and some cars, and yes, I was driving a manual)! When I ran up to your office crying, you laughed and said, ‘did you wound yourself’? I said no and you told me to stop crying, go back to my teacher, and drive. Of course you took care of the headlights. Daddy, these days Louis Hamilton has nothing on me!!! Somehow I’ve stuck with automatics, but that’s a different story.
I remember when I was sick in final year at Uni and had to be brought home by my friends. The night you came in to my room and I threw up (in the name of trying to eat), you held me and prayed the most heartfelt prayer I have ever heard. Did I get better or what!!!
I try to be the best I can be at everything I do, if it’s only to hear you laugh and say (the way only you can), “my champion”, or my personal favourite, “super girl”! Truthfully daddy, that’s the driving force for most of the things I do!
You know what I just remembered daddy? You know the time I said I wanted to be a doctor, and you spent almost all your life’s savings on lesson teachers just because I couldn’t grasp math? I still don’t understand it but that’s by the way. So my JAMB results are released and when you saw that my score for English was higher than the sum of the scores I had for biology, chemistry and physics you said, ‘you know you cannot study medicine like this’. I’m happy you said that because then we started looking for something (anything) I was good at. After I argued with you about something we both watched on TV, it occurred to me that I liked to talk (light bulb moment) and the rest as they say, is history!
Many times we have argued (but that’s because you’re human and I’m a fairy), and many times we haven’t agreed on things. Your favourite saying? ‘What I see sitting down you would not see even if you climbed an Iroko tree’ (I bet your parents have told you that countless times too).
Remember the first time you read my blog? After confirming that I wouldn’t get into trouble, what with the activist slant the posts were taking, you told me, ‘carry on, you have my support’. Thank you for supporting this dad, and every other whim I’ve fed over the years (and believe me they’ve been plenty)!
Another thing you liked saying is ‘when you go to a place, keep your eyes on the thing that took you there’. Oya o, the thing that brought me here is getting another degree and I promise to do you proud while I’m at it……you know how we do!
As you celebrate another milestone added to your already fabulous life, welcome to a New Year dad; one in which all your desires will be fulfilled.
I love you more than you know!
Writer : Chioma Chuka blogs at http://fairygodsister.wordpress.com Follow her on twitter @chiomachuka