Things I Wish I Could Do With My Father

My old man died the year I turned 21, how's that for an anti-climax? Now this isn't a sob story because I had a great dad. I mean that man pretty much walked on water if you ask me. I had a great childhood and my father played a big role in that. I have so many fond memories of my father and growing up with him as my father is the biggest and most valuable blessing in my life. 

I'm writing this post on a flight back to Boston and I probably look a little loony because I can't stop crying - happy tears though happy tears. That verse that says 'Bless the Lord oh my soul and forget not His benefits' comes to mind and immediately my mood switches and I'm doing my happy dance (in my assigned seat folks, I'm not trying to get arrested on arrival : )). I am gently reminded that I have been blessed beyond measure because not many people get to have a good father figure. 

I have a good father. I almost wrote that in the past tense but just because he is dead doesn't mean he stopped being my father. Some of you who have lost loved ones can relate to that, just because someone's dead doesn't mean they stop being what they represent in your life. 

My father taught me values that I will never forget. He introduced me to God and for me that's the best gift. I was in a dark place when my dad passed on and I couldn't even pray. I was so mad at God because I didn't understand it. Surely He could have taken someone else's father - read self righteousness. I mean my dad was one of the good guys, I just didn't get it. Then one day I came across this quote "Faith it out till you figure it out." It really helped me to accept that I couldn't change what had happened obviously but I could be stronger and better for it.

My father instilled values in me that still guide me. My work ethic, my moral compass, my attitude towards things easy or difficult are still influenced by him. I miss that man something awful friends (as if you couldn't tell : )). I'm sure you've heard 'Dance With My Father Again' by Luther Vandross and it makes me ache so bad my heart breaks a little. Anyone who says time makes it better is halfway right. The shock and the raw pain is gone but the missing never stops. 

As I get older I am realizing that my father has missed and will miss many monumental events in my life and that makes me so sad I literally have tears in my eyes writing this post. A dad is a girl's hero and my dad was exactly that and so much more.
I have been compiling a list of things I wish he could have been there for:
  1. My graduation. Both of them my bachelors and masters. That man would have done cartwheels: ). Education was so important to him.
  2. His mentoring. Now this is everyday. I wish I could ask for his input on something important but alas I find myself wading through life sometimes like a blind person because in certain things I certainly don't know any better. I find myself asking what would dad do?
  3. My little accomplishments. A promotion here and there, my travels, my DIYs and so many other things big and small. I wish I could pick up the phone and call him. I can imagine some of those conversations and it makes me smile.
  4. I would have loved to have a drink with my father. Now before you get all what???! My father was a social man and I would give anything to be able to seat with him somewhere nice and just enjoy that drink and have a nice conversation with him.
  5. My milestone birthdays. He would probably have made them a big deal. He loved celebrating our birthdays (my sister and brother). He got me my first watch and purse. He gets major points for that. I can't imagine my boyfriend purse shopping : ). He would have gone all out for my 21st and 30th birthdays.
  6. My traditional african engagement process. If you think weddings are big then you haven't witnessed a traditional 'buying' the bride ceremony. It is fun and just something only a father can really perform with your best interest at heart. He would be the only man who would understand my worth. Now I don't mean that I have a monetary value I just mean that the negotiations would be so much closer to the heart if he were there.
  7. His jokes. I was so stressed out one day and I remember saying in my native language 'Whatever happens happens'. My dad happened to hear me sighing loudly and he said 'Hopefully it all goes well' with his ever knowing smile. It was like magic. I had been concentrating how I would handle whatever bad news was coming, I hadn't thought it could actually workout and his joke made it so much better.
  8. My wedding. I would have wanted to know he approved of my choice. It would have been so lovely for him to give me away and to dance with me oh he had moves.
  9. My children. Now this makes me flat out bowl in tears, I'm actually looking for another tissue. He would have been a great grandfather my kids will surely miss out.
  10. Mostly I miss him not the things he did for me or gave me. Just him. I think of him I want to say everyday and the memories are bitter sweet. I wish I could have had more time with that man. The biggest lesson from this experience is that people are irreplaceable and people die. If you play your cards well though you'll live forever through the ones you leave behind. Leave a great unforgettable legacy. Truly the good die young.

In loving memory of Gathura Gachau. You are so dearly missed.

Listening is loving....


  1. beautiful memories, deep reflection.

  2. wow, sounds like an amazing man and am sure he is proud of you