Last Sunday was Father’s Day, and it was refreshing to hear women share sentimental and deeply touching stories of their Fathers. Indeed, Fathers are wonderful, and I am grateful for mine and other men who continue to show up in that capacity.
However, Father’s Day memories are not rosy for all young women. There are Fathers who walked out, those whose actions burnt and wounded, and those who looked away and refused to pay attention. This article is written in solidarity with every woman who welcomes Father’s Day celebrations with mixed feelings. And every woman that knows at least one person who does.
Happy belated Father’s Day:
To single mothers. For every day your child came home crying because she had no stories to tell about her father’s treats. For every day that you had to repeat the story of why he isn’t there, or why he didn’t choose your child, or why he didn’t stay. For every day that you looked through your daughter’s school work to see things like: “mummy cooks the food, daddy pays the school fees”, and you had to hold back your rage because this mummy did more than cook the food. She also bought the clothes and paid the damn bills. For every Father’s Day celebration at your child’s school that you attended by yourself. For the Google lessons you took on how to be a father and mother to your only child and how those lessons never measured up to the one’s life taught you.
To the girl whose daddy left before she learned to call his name. For the hope you carried in your heart when mummy walked in with the new guy called stepdad. And for every night stepdad walked in drunk, hitting your mummy and yelling at you. For every night after mummy left andhe lashed you with the whip before you let him invade your innocence. For every day you released your restlessness in the bed sheets of strange men, looking for answers to questions you didn’t know you were asking. For growing through the thick that life dealt you to want and hope for a better life for you and your future child.
To the girl that didn’t have enough time to tell daddy she loved him. To enjoy his being there before death took him away. To tell him you are sorry for rebelling against his every wish. To thank him for staying, for caring enough to yell when he did, for the good memories he left behind, for the hope you now nurse in meeting a good man, because daddy was proof that good things come to pass.
To our mothers who double(d) as fathers, our teachers that go above and beyond to be guardians; our brothers, who nurture us like we will never grow old in their eyes; our sisters, who save the day when neither parent is around.
And to the men that work hard to become better fathers than their fathers ever were; to the men who become fathers that are not just present but available and involved, the men that give us reason to believe, men that stay; and to the women that nurture(d) them.