My Dad had been sick, suffering from cancer- throat cancer. He was admitted at General Timo hospital. He was so worn out to an extent that I thought of losing hope but because he was the man I called father all my life, I still held on hoping that one day, very soon, he will say he is fine when he really means it.
He had stayed admitted for three months. So one day I received a call from the hospital and I was informed that he wanted to see me and that I should come immediately. It was on a Tuesday, 14th September four years ago. I was in my office and I immediately left whatever I was doing and rushed to the hospital.
“My daughter,” he called immediately I stormed into his ward.
“Yes, dad,” I answered.
“… there’s something about yourself you do not know – and I can’t afford to die without telling you.”
“That’s not important now, dad. Tell me, how are you. What matters to me is you getting well.” I told him
“I wish I could.” He said.
“You are going to be fine.”
“No. it’s now my time to go and please allow me to tell you this…”
“Please, dad… Ok” I curtly interpolated but he gave me a merciful look that forced me to heed.
He continued, “… I am just a dad to you but not your father. I ought to have told you a long time ago but I just couldn’t. Your mother told me that she was raped by a stranger back in the village, at the Well drawing water. She was a secondary school girl then (form three) and on that day she had been sent to the well by her mother when she got home from school in the evening. And that’s when you were conceived. So, that means even your mother never knew who your father was. But when you came into my life, you became my blessings. I have never lacked. And now, since your mother is gone and I don’t see myself getting through this, I want you to know that dad loves you. I might not have been so good to you but that’s the best I could do. Please forgive me if…”
“I have nothing against you dad, you are the best.” I interrupted, “you’re everything to me; apart from being my dad, for the last five years you have been my mother too. Our mother, I know brother will agree with me. And you are not going anywhere believe me.” I tried to console him.
“No, it’s now my turn sweetheart- to go. Your mother is waiting for me. I can see her smiling. Thank you because through you I first became a father, Baba Lesley. I’m proud of you my daughter. It’s so sad that I have to go. But I am so glad that I am leaving when you are now an adult- at 25, you are not a kid anymore. Furthermore, you are educated and luckily you have a good job. That means you are independent. And I know you can take care of your brother. You are now his mother and father- just know that. Therefore, I want you to be the master of your life.
“Always be that good girl you have ever been. And remember not always our hearts are right. They lie sometimes. So, never let yours overrule your mind. Love with your heart but let your mind decide. And don’t be too quick to trust anyone.
“And finally, because I know we are all social beings, make friends but don’t let your friends be the reason for your downfall. Protect your dignity as a woman. Live for yourself. Love yourself more than anybody else because no matter how much you try, you cannot please everyone.
“Come.” He raised his frail, feeble hands, drew me close to him, gave me a hug and kissed my forehead. This reminded me of the first day we met 19 years ago. I was only four years old when he married my mother. I still remember how he hugged me and kissed my forehead and said, ‘You are such a beautiful masterpiece and from now onwards, I will be your dad, welcome home.’ And lovingly pressed my then little nose.
Lastly, dad said, “I love you, Lesley, greet Tom and tell him dad loves him too. Tell him not to cry for me. And one more thing, never hurry into anything but when the time is right don’t wait for too long. Get married someday because that is the wish of your mother.” And he breathed his last breath.
“Yes, dad. I love you too” That’s all I could say as I watched his lifeless body lying on that bed.
“He is gone I’m sorry.” The doctor said.
“Yes. He was my hero.”
[Photo: Source.] Also read, ‘She Cheated and betrayed her Husband… But not on purpose.’ And finally, follow us on Facebook at Sleadas Co.