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Hello Story Tellers! Welcome to another installment of the Parent Project. July is drawing to a close and with it, the Parent Project, which will wrap up at the end of this week.

Today, we have a short but very sweet piece on one girl’s parents and love. Please enjoy.

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What I feel for my father is a mixture of awe, reverence, fear and love. It is a very strong emotion altogether that I spent my growing years trying to decipher. Growing up, I yearned for the love and affection of my father, but many times I got a cold stare, instead of a warm hug. I got uncomfortable silence, instead of the beautiful father-daughter camaraderie. So I doubted his love for me. My mother on the other hand, it has never been difficult with her. Each moment of every day, I never doubt how much my mother loves me.

However, I have now come to learn and know that my father loves me just as much, he just has a different way of expressing it. You see, my father is taciturn, my mother is the talker. While my mom grew up in a nuclear family where love was shown and bestowed easily, my father grew up with an absentee father and a struggling mother who lived between husbands. So, he never had a good example.

Now, in my more mature years, I’ve come to see and cherish little moments where my father let down his guard to show his love. Like, when he holds my hands through my painful periods, when he accompanied me to the MRI chamber and I could see warmth and fear in his eyes as he watched me  go through the machine. So, maybe, I never had the dancing moments. These little passing moments, I’ve learnt to cherish.

This is what I know now: he pays my  fees, fills my stomach, works to put a roof over my head, provides me with basic necessities, and as much as I know, he is a faithful husband. So he is doing his best, showing his love the best way he can, surpassing all his father ever did for him. He has given me more than life served him. He has given more love than he ever received. Maybe, that’s enough. His best is enough.

My mother is not ordinary, she is amazing, she is not like the others, she is the purple thread, that touch of brilliance that gives beauty and distinction to the rest. She makes my ink flow, she is my best friend, my protector, I know I will fight the world, slay dragons and conquer anything because she’s right there fighting with me. She’s my hero, always on her knees, hands clasped in prayer. So through the tears and pain I’ve ever been through, a part of me has always known that this too shall pass.

I hope to be like my father one day, doing the best I can for my children, nothing less, surpassing the efforts of my parents, giving them more than life served me. I will not tread in the path he has fallen, rather I will rise to do better for my children like he has done. I hope to marry a man like my father, who will give more than life served him, who will also do his best and nothing less. I hope one day, I will get a dance with my father.

I will be like my mother, standing out like that beautiful purple thread, I will create the path for my children to tread, I will remain on my knees in prayers to God for my children to succeed, I will not spare the rod and my children shall also call me blessed. I will be like my mother.

By Olamide Olowoniyi.

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