Friday, May 17, 2024

For Daddy, at 61

My dad's smile lit up rooms and was one of his most attractive features.

“As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it's some physical thing. Maybe it's a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it's a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.” - r/gsnow

During the deepest depths of the waves of grief that followed my dad’s death, I sometimes caught myself wishing he hadn’t been such a good father.

You might ask why I would think such a foolish thing. Well, my grief-addled reasoning was that I wouldn’t be in so much pain or be taking such a dim view of life without him if he hadn’t been such an important part of my life to begin with.

Nearly two years have passed and I see clearly that those were silly thoughts. Of course. Love persists beyond death. I love my parents – in the present tense. They knew I loved them because I wouldn’t shut up about it. They loved and love me too. I still feel my father’s love for me in many ways. I would much rather have a lifetime of love tinged with some grief than the alternative.

I often think about the meaning of my father’s life. And I think about his legacy. Today, on what would have been his 61st birthday, I am reflecting on his legacy of good parenting to me. My father praised his dad’s parenting. A legacy of integrity and honour. I praise my dad’s parenting. A legacy of service and devotion. And I work hard, unlearn, and learn every day so that the next generation can someday describe me by that greatest of titles – “a good father”. A legacy of good fatherhood.


Oko Taiyelolu. Omo adu f’eyin soge. Omo owa, omo ekun. Omo Onirayi ogun l'oke odo. Iranse eledumare. Omo kiniun eya Judah. Ajogun pelu Kristi. Omo oba loni, oba lana, oba titi aye ainipekun. Adekoyejo Adeniji okan soso ajanaku ti mi’gbo kiji-kiji-kiji!

I think of you many times every day. I love you and I miss you. I’ll always do. And I’m glad you were born on this day all those years ago, because it meant I would be born too and that I would be loved by you. ❤️


“My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can't see.” r/gsnow

For Daddy, at 60

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