It is often said that fathers are a son’s first hero, a daughter’s first love, and a wife’s best companion. I couldn’t agree more.
Yesterday was International Father’s Day. The internet was saturated with beautiful heart-warming messages to fathers all over the world. Odes and sui generis encomiums rented the social media space.
I smiled molar to molar like Kermit all of the time I came across one beautiful message or the other. Fathers who had an underlying fracas with their children were forgiven yesterday. It was one very special moment to publicly display the man whose jism you were made of, built, grown, and can now joyfully extol willingly. It was an ecstatic feeling.
I read a Father’s Day Message written by a senior friend who is an ace journalist. He extolled his dad as his first mentor and editor. According to him, his dad directed his path and paved the way for him into painting pictures with beautiful words. Like Aladdin on a magic carpet or cupid with wings, he learnt that he could dream big, through the help and guidance of his dad. And that with God, he could make all of them come true. Today, he is an accomplished writer and CNN Award-winning Journalist.
I stumbled upon a friend’s post on Facebook. She referenced her dad as a guiding light who showed her the path to the brighter light, who gave her eagle’s wings to fly, even at a young age, and who never gave up on her, but made everything possible to see her excel. Whose only dream was to see her become a Navy officer, which she has achieved today.
To digress from these beautiful eulogies, what pricked my heart to pen this down, was the elegiac write-ups I also came across, particularly from people on my WhatsApp contact list. While skimming through the stream of eulogies, I noticed that a lot of people used yesterday as an opportunity to mourn the passing away of their father in the most heart-wrenching way.
A lot of people have lost their dad a long time ago, or recently. And I begin to wonder what really could be the cause. I put a call (video) through to one of them, as a way to stretch a hand of emotional support. She narrated how her dad died when she was only nine. She didn’t know what happened by then, but she could recall crying with her mum. Twenty years after, she still feels the hurt like a scorpion sting. Of course, the hurt remains. It never goes. Not now. Not any time in the future.
There are a plethora of troubling questions to ask: “Why do married men die early?” “Why are there so many widows in Nigeria?” A close look at these two questions reveals that they are almost the same, and have very similar answers.
According to the 2015 World Widows Report by the Loomba Foundation, there are 258 million widows around the world, of which 3.5 million of these widows are Nigerians. Suffice to say that this is one of the most overlooked problems in Nigeria.
A quick research provides answers to some of the reasons why men are always quick to die in marriages. The two major reasons are the burden of responsibility and Infidelity.
I am not a marriage counsellor, so I won’t write in detail.
The efforts men put to keep up the home should be appreciated. They deserve all the accolades and support—mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and financially.
To those who have lost their dads, I pray may their souls continue to rest in peace.
There is no greater ‘father’ like the one in Heaven. He watches over you.