There are fathers, and there’s my Dad,
There is sacrifice, and there’s what my father has done,
There is passion, and there’s who my father is,
There is selflessness, and there’s what he has done,
Word for word, he can match it all,
Act for act, he surpasses them all.
I sit silently sometimes; watching him be a father,
Watching him give his all, watching him be his all,
For family…for family…he does it all,
Unending sacrifice, and timeless pain,
Hours and hours on end, of teaching and nurturing.
From the days of knocks at the dinning table,
From the days of learning to ‘read’ his face,
so you end up having a whole conversation just by one look, while your aunt watches on oblivious,
From the days of ‘joko dera’, as you snap your fingers in pain, and you wonder how long your legs will last.
All the years of conditioning and schooling; and people wonder why you turn out so,
The fingers all point to the man who did; who made sure to do; and still is doing.
Few can cause you to roar up in pain-inducing laughter; laughter so hard your mother worries,
Few can string up words like does, a cornucopia, a words-smith is what he is called,
Very few, can truly and really put all, I mean all on the line for you,
Even fewer can blend all these seamlessly into one,
In fact, only one.
So I understand , I really do,
There was only one the creator made,
One original for a generation,
And lucky fool that I am, I get the one,
The father, the ultimate cocktail of the true father.
Sometimes unappreciative, sometimes ignorant,
some times oblivious, sometimes unaware I may seem,
But thankfully once in a while, I get an opportunity like this,
Once in a while, it clicks that the world must know,
No, I’m not trying to rub it in its face,
No, I’m not trying to make it feel deprived,
But really with a father like mine there are few other choices.
A little sadness that the world may never know what it’s like to have a true father,
Many will never experience real fatherhood,
For the lucky few, we cannot but be thankful to a Greater power, to forces that are far beyond our limited comprehension.
But till I can personally thank the One who gave the ultimate gift; I smile with humbling pride, a grin so broad the whole world has to see.
I know, I really know, without a shred of a doubt, that there are fathers and there is the man who truly is Dad.
Happy Birthday Daddy…
By Iretomiwa Akintunde-Johnson