A letter I wish my father had read…

To many people, you were kind,loving,gentle,empathetic,generous,selfless… But to me, you were more than that..you are dada! You were my father. You have been all of that and more. There isn’t a perfect sentence to describe whom you’ve been to me but in my dire effort to do so, I’d say, ” You have always been there” You have always wanted to be part of my life; always there when I needed you and even sometimes when, “Will he give me break?” I wished. But you wouldn’t, you were relentless…you were relentless when it came to your children. I’ve become so used to you being there that your absence seems like a dream-more like a nightmare I’d do just about anything to wake up from but with the number of times I’ve pinched myself, I’m convinced that this is real.

My siblings and I, although we attended different High Schools, we all had similar experiences in High School(our first boarding school away from you). That experience could be described in a decent way as a ‘hard time’ but embarrassingly, all of us, no matter how strong and hot-headed we seem today, were cry babies in High School. Even though we had all we needed, we were still scared, afraid and still felt like we lacked everything because we didn’t have you with us. We were missing your presence, your aura of protection but in those times, we still knew that all we needed was a phone call and you’d be there the very same day or the next if you couldn’t make it that day. “My child needs me” was all you knew and we had confidence in that. That confidence allowed us pursue the unimaginable and beat odds that seemed unbeatable in life. Yes, you did that, da!

It’s excruciatingly painful and unbelievable that today, when I pick up the phone and dial (027* ****03), you will not pick up and say, “Hello!” in the most cheerful way that can never be forgotten. Your number was the first I ever memorized as a child because I knew that Dada will always be there when I call.

You made sure we were always well and healthy. In your own view, no doctor was good enough to take care of us. You were always involved when the doctors tried to do their job so much that all doctors called you, “Dr. Kofi Siaw” even though you were not a medical doctor by profession.

 

I remember when a man came to you and advised that he gave me herbal medicine for my eye sight because of how desperately you wanted me to take off my glasses. The medicine didn’t seem too good in appearance. I noticed how uncertain you were about herbal medicine being poured onto my eye but in your desperation to see me well, you said to the man, “Bring the medicine so that I can try it on my eye just for a while before I give it to my son.” To me, that meant everything! There’s nobody that can care for me like you do, Dad. I turned it down because I wasn’t too sure about it either, “What if it destroys your own eyes.”, I wondered.

On your 70th birthday, do you remember that afternoon where you requested for a meal for your birthday and only wanted mackerel in the soup? I found that a weird choice since you could have had anything you wanted. When I asked you, you said, ” I request Mackerel today so that after my last born has graduated and my last but one has found a job and I get well and we are all just perfect,then we can have the biggest birthday bash ever!

Your last born graduated yesterday dad! He did so well and I know you’d have been proud!

Even in your final moments, in those very hard times when I visited the hospital, you were more concerned about how my company was doing more than you were of your sickness. The only conversation we had was about MY future, it was never about how sick you were nor the excruciating pain you went through. You were a father…a true father and I love you so much! I thank God for giving me the privilege of having a father like you who taught me what it felt like to be loved.

It is hard to believe you are gone, da! I want to think of you as very much alive but in a different place where you can see me become everything you ever wanted me to be. You are very very much alive…I know that because people in heaven never die. They live forever in joy, peace and love. ┬áKeep watching over me!