Today marks one year since my dad went to heaven on June 3rd 2015 at around 2am in the morning. I miss him. All the good in me comes from him. All I am today that is positive comes from him loving me. I have precious memories from childhood of my dad always being there not just for me but for all of us, and not just his nuclear family but all extended family as well. My dad lived a sacrificial life, loving everyone else first and putting himself last every single time. This I find most poignant; that his whole working life, he skipped lunch. Not because of money, rather, because it pained him to enjoy food he wasn’t sharing with his children. He only ate what we ate and he was adamant about that.
Daddy loved mum best he could, gave his whole life to caring for her, providing for her. He always worried that mum be taken care of no matter what, and when he got sick, he lamented who would keep up with the practical maintenance of the home and who would fix broken things around the home for mum. Every thought he had was for the wellbeing of mum and us.
Deliberate parenting, that is what daddy practiced. Somehow, he understood that how he treated us would set the bar of how we would expect to be treated by men in general. He did a pretty darn good job on that; coz men generally don’t play with or around any of daddy’s girls! And if they do, they are usually always and without fail, out. He taught us well, that we are worthy of true love and honour from the men that profess to love us.
Daddy was born on 9th December 1937. As was normal then, he didn’t start school until he was 14 years old in 1951. The brightest student in his class, he doubled up on his classes and graduated in 1964. That same year, he joined the East African Railway in management capacity, where he worked and travelled vastly for work, which explains why my older sister and I were born in Dar-Es-Salaam Tanzania instead of our home country of Nairobi Kenya. Daddy worked with the railways until his retirement in 2004.
I miss him dearly. We all do. His last decade was tough, but even as his body wasted away, his faith grew stronger. When I’d visit, he was still always dad –soft-spoken and kind, speaking words of hope, healing and encouragement. When they’d visited me here in Belgium, he always made sure he left me invigorated to keep on fighting for a better life for myself and my small family.
I am the luckiest girl in the world to have had a dad like him, to still have him as my dad. His words still guide me, and I can hear him as clearly as if he were still here. Thank you dad for showing me what it means to fight the good fight and finish the race. I love you, and I will always be your little girl.