I had to learn how to detach myself from the father I had which wasnít mine to keep. He was the one whose proud, smiling face I saw on my graduation day. He was there to comfort me when I experienced the loss of a loved one. He was the one giving me relationship advice and it was his voice I heard, speaking on my behalf on my wedding day. So who said I had to detach myself? It just seemed like the right thing to do as I went in search of the one that was mine to keep. Well, this year I choose to honour this gentleman.
Though all the love I had for a father went in various directions, I now look back to find that there is only one, other than my grandfather, who has really been there for me in practical ways as a father figure. During the times spent in his presence I learned many lessons and if only for a time, I experienced the love of a fatheróthe love he shared. The longest time I have spent in the presence of those God placed in leadership position over my life was spent with this gentleman. I could have easily lived a life, devoid of a fatherís love, had I not spent a decade of my life under his leadership.
Did he realise how God was using him in my life? Probably not! I certainly did not and could not have understood the importance of his presence in my life. From his wife through to the women in my fellowship and mothers of friends trailing back to my Sunday school teachers, I was never short of a mother figure or big sister guidance. However, I was starved of a positive male influence in my life. God used him to fill that gap at the most delicate point on my journey and I am so grateful for all he has done in contributing to my development.
Therefore, I am taking this opportunity to publicly acknowledge this gentleman and let him know how much heís appreciated. I am surrounded by some wonderful leaders at the moment, in my community and people I have met through my writing ministry. Nevertheless, I often wonder if I would have made it this far, had he not taken the time to make a deposit into my life while I was a teen/young adult. I am so grateful that God connected me with him and his wife and the people from the Community-based project they are involved with. I cannot stop giving God praise for the life of these two individuals who made the first step in loving me back to life. Our community is in need of more stalwarts like them.
To this special someone I say, although I refer to you as ĎPopsí, my heart will always refer to you as ĎDadí.
How I came to this conclusion
When I struggle with difficult situations in life, I search my memory bank to see what I can find. Truth be told, I am searching for that special someone with whom I can share my troubles when Iím down; one whoíll rejoice with me when Iím glad; one who knows all about me: what I like and dislike and why I do the things I do. I am searching for that special someone who knows my faults and loves me regardless of my flaws. I am searching for someone who has been there all my life.
Iím searching for:
A father whose love is unconditional;
A father whose eyes tell me he accepts me
despite my short-comings;
A father who will wipe the tears and ease the pain;
A father who will do what it takes to make me feel loved;
A father with forgiving, compassionate arms, to embrace me,
A father who will say, ĎIt will be okay!í while wiping away the tears and helping
to make the pain go away, for no other reason than the fact that I am his child.
The searchlights have been on all my life and sad to say, there isnít a father to provide what Iíve always needed. Yet, I am comforted in the following memory:
At the most troubled time of my life,
When I struggled with the challenges of teen years;
When I had choices to make and lacked understanding;
When I first encountered grief, and faced strange emotions,
The only male figure in my life, I could look to for guidance was you.
I cannot repay you for the kindness you shared;
I cannot repay you for the time you gave;
I cannot repay you for the love you shared;
I cannot repay you for the counsel you gaveÖ
So Iíve taken this opportunity to thank you, Mr. Paul Reid aka Bro. Pablo, for being a great leader in my life. You werenít a mediocre leader, that just wouldnít do for you. You werenít just a good leader because you inspired those whom you had the opportunity to lead. Your passion for what you did for me and continue to do for others inspired me to go on and do likewise for those children whose lives Iím connected with. I appreciate all that you have done for me and for all the youth whose lives you continue to influence. I pray that God will bless you and continue to shine through you as you continue to invest in the lives of your own children and those whom you serve. Happy Fathers Day!