Happy Father’s Day

Divorce doesn’t necessarily mean your father isn’t there any more, but in my case it meant my father was absent from my life. My mother’s younger brother, my uncle Sola, voluntarily stepped into that vacuum with seamless ardour. I’m not sure if he ever had a discussion with my mum about it or if it was a conscious thing for him. He was, and still is, a deeply compassionate man and I guess that’s what motivated him.

Until we were much older and ‘settled’, every Sunday, he would stop by the house after church to spend time with us. He wasn’t a man of great means but whatever he had, he shared with us. He was there for every birthday; usually the first guest to arrive whether we had a party or not. When we did poorly in our exams, my mum would report us to him and he would calmly reprove us. He never lost his temper with us, he is such a gentle soul. I remember soon after the divorce, I told my cousin, his daughter, that I wished he was my father. Children have the weirdest way with words, she said something to the effect of she wished he could be too. Even at ten years old, she also knew she had a great dad. If I’m honest, I envied her.

His greatest sacrifice was sharing his time with his own family with us. Sometimes he would just pick us up, maybe to give my mum a break and we would spend the whole day with our cousins. Most times it was mayhem because we were all about the same age; restless children whose sole mission was to frustrate their parents. ;). My fondest memories are of our trips to Apapa amusement park (in Lagos). My uncle had three kids and one saloon car which was sufficient for a family of five but not for one of eight. That didn’t stop him packing us in his car like sardines for our trips to the amusement park. Those were the fun pre-health-and-safety days. He was also a Grammy award show fanatic and after every trip we would end up watching every video imaginable plus listen to him disapprove of any ‘wild’ performance he didn’t want us to emulate. Specifically -Madonna’s. 🙂

He was proud of every graduation and success we had. He sat by my mother at all our weddings; always her rock. He has celebrated every childbirth with her too like a doting grandfather. I am eternally grateful to my aunt and my cousins for sharing their husband and father respectively with us.

Thank you uncle Sola for being a wonderful father when we needed one the most.



6 thoughts on “Happy Father’s Day

  1. Last year, on father’s day, I wrote that every girl deserves a father. A father, to me, is a man who cares for a child. Not a man who donated sperm to create the child, after all, sperm banks exist.
    My dad jokes that email are so inconsequential that there are no fatherless babies homes.
    May The Lord Bless your Uncle for his selflessness. His reward is definitely the love you feel for him.
    For uninvolved fathers, their rewards are in a special place where extra coal will be put to heat up the place more.

    • Thanks for visiting my blog. I agree with you totally on the definition of father. I spent a lot of my teenage years in angst and as I got older I realised it was more healthy for me to forgive my father than to hate him. I remember the first time I decided to forgive him, I cried so much. Partly because I was letting go of a lot of hurt and also because I felt free. It didn’t take away the memories and each time they niggled at me I would forgive him again until I felt no hurt again. If I feel anything, it is sadness for him; that he missed out on knowing four fantastic women. I’m grateful to God that I was able to get to the point where I could say I wished him no ill.

  2. Amazing story. God bless your uncle Sola. Would love to hear about your process for arriving at forgiving your father. I share a simar back-story, and try as I may to forgive and move on, the mind wallows in angst and self pity.

    • Thanks for the comment Femi. Interestingly I’ll be blogging around that soon. I just had to acknowledge forgiving him was for my benefit not his and that was the beginning. It was really long process though. It didn’t happen overnight but one day at a time.

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