I. Am. My. Father’s. Daughter.
There’s no denying it. One look at me would confirm this truth of mine (Sidenote: This picture is a throwback of this one time my dad thought he was going to Prom with me and put on a suit, LMAO). But there are many other things I inherited from the king of my heart. His sense of humor, obviously. My passion for learning. A persona that causes people to gravitate towards me. Putting family first. To find fun in any situation. My rhythm (remember this simple equation: me + dad = life of the party, #justsaying). The never-ending need to solve others’ problems [to a fault]. My moral compass. Conversation for days — which is ironic, but I’ll explain later. Eating Milo when I have hiccups. An abundance of wit that just makes the opposite sex swoon *winks* How to bake homemade bread. My late grandma’s secret recipe for rum cake [To my family: Sorry, not sorry] My undying love for horses.
When you’re little… A little girl at that, your dad is your first love, your first friend, your first hero. Of course your mom is your idol… But when we grow into our teens, she kind of becomes what seems like the enemy. Meanwhile, your dad still remains your best friend. My five favorite words: “I’ll just go ask Dad,” I would say to purposefully leave my mom vexed and ultimately, get what I wanted. Even when I think I’m a grown woman (word to Beyonce), I’ll always be his babygirl, the center of his world, and what gets him through the day.
Its funny, though. How inseparable my dad and I were. Still are. And he always reminded me. Any chance he’d get, he’d sing me Rod Stewart’s, “Have I Told You Lately?” (A little secret… He still does, only difference between now and then, I tear up). But from a young age, I was his good luck charm. Literally. On every job interview, he’d take little ol’ me with him… & Of course, how could they turn away a responsible man taking care of his beautiful bundle of responsibilities. Every job interview we went on, he was hired. His last interview was when I was about five and he’s been working as a mailman ever since. Little did I know, as I got older, he’d return the favor and become my good luck charm as well.
By the time he started working that job, I was starting Kindergarden. He’d walk me to the bus stop every morning and my brother (my other king) would pick me up after school. But as much as I loved school… I dreaded the part of actually getting there. Mostly because I knew getting there meant having to leave my dad. So what would I do? Before we left the house, I’d motion to my dad to bend down, like I had to tell him a secret. Instead of doing just that, I’d completely mess up his hair that was combed and moisturized to perfection. You see, I knew my dad couldn’t leave the house with his hair all disheveled. To my dismay, it only delayed the process, but it became routine. And he didn’t mind one bit.
As a matter of fact, my dad is the most content man I know. I don’t know if its attributable to the fact that he came from nothing to something, or what… But this man truly lives life… At peace. Like, if he didn’t receive another blessing from God. He’d be fine. We are all the blessings he needs. He’s made sure of it. He’s made it his life mission to teach us what it means and feels like to love and be love(d). He taught us that its not so much the big occasions that matter, but everyday in between.
Like learning how to bake bread at a young age, not realizing I was kneading more than that, but love… Unconditional love. Or helping him build the patio in our backyard at the age of eight, brick by brick because I wasn’t strong enough to carry more. But that’s just it. He’d always be my strength, to carry me when I am weak, young, old, married. Or him killing the spiders that I still am too scared to kill. Or him sleeping on the floor next to me all the consecutive nights I couldn’t sleep, holding my hand through the night. Or him not getting mad at me when we were playing around in the car heading to the arts & craft store to pick up stuff for costume day at the stables (I was an equestrian-in-the-making as aforementioned) and I was pretending to slap him and he accidentally moved in the direction of my already-in-motion hand (Sorry again, Dad!) Maybe because he knew that I would do something equally embarrassing (which was when I turned 17 and thought I was hot shit for taking college classes my senior year). I was strolling down the hall to meet up with my dad and the dean, and as I’m waving to them, still strutting, I completely fall and do the splits (mind you, I CAN’T EVEN DO THE SPLITS). I never hopped up so fast, and my dad never laughed so hard. Or him working double overtime, walking for miles and miles uphill and downhill, in the blazing sun, blustery cold, pouring rain just so I could have a roof over my head and a reputable college education that he never had the privilege of receiving.
I’m indebted to my dad, always and in all ways. Whether it was him mending a broken fence or my broken heart. He made sure he taught me how to be strong and selective with my words just as he learned to do so with his speech impediment. But the way this man commanded the attention of all who was in earshot whenever a word fell from his lips, despite however long it may have taken, still leaves me in awe to this day. He taught me more about myself, about patience, than any class. And although my mother is my everything, I’ve always wanted to be… More. Like. Him. But it all makes sense now, I can’t be completely like him. Not when I’m half of my Queen (which is undeniably half amazing) anyway. But I can find somebody who is an awful lot like him… And I have. Probably why Mama always told me to find a man like my father. And now that I have, she makes sure I hold onto him. And although my boyfriend reminds me so much of him, *whispers* he still has quite a pair of shoes to fill. Lucky for him, though… That man I call “dad,” has made it easy on him by already giving me the world. Little does daddy know, he’s still my world. And always will be.
Happy Father’s Day To All of The Remarkable Fathers.
You are needed. You are admired. You are loved.