I have no idea how to put this since my experience in conversing with older men is limited to lethargic lecturers, cautionary preachers and irate dads worried about their daughters but I’ll try.
I miss you, terribly so.
I miss the stability you’d infuse into our home and the quiet respect you did command. It’s been sixteen years and I’m still learning how to grieve and cope with your death. Some nights I dream that you died again and in the morning I’m inconsolable. Mom did an awesome job raising us by the way, so good. Innocent, the guy I’m after, says there’s no real absence of a father in this house.
It’s tough to mourn a memory, it’s like a silhouette — sketchy and largely absent.
Mary got married and has a lovely daughter, so you’d be a grandfather. Mwose got through high school fine and is turning heads, making boys have sleepless nights, and acting strong as she waits to join college. Chris never got chubby again but he’s muscular and plays volleyball. I’m here struggling to hold on to your memory.
Time robbed me of your voice — I can’t say if it was a soprano or a deep baritone. I’m rooting for deep baritone though, the photos here suggest that. The time we had didn’t allow me to observe a lot about you so I have to make do with the descriptions mom offers. I trust her but I think she did the human thing and knighted your memory and canonized the rest.
I still think you were awesome though.
The only memory I have is how fond you were of tea, you two were inseparable. You drank so much of that brew I worry it may have been responsible for the diabetes. I don’t know what you did to the cream after it smudged your upper lip but the memory is there and I‘m willing to take up arms against the powers that be, defy amnesia and keep off narcotics just to keep this one. I didn’t shed off the name you gave me though the ID people didn’t allow me to have four names like they did with mom.
I think she misses you more than I do.
I finally learnt that lesson about sticking my chubby ass at home (it’s no longer chubby though, high school took that away) and not popping into every place that had a door which happened to be open. Mom has a great time with this on telling me how we used to entertain the estate me running as fast as my pudgy legs could go and you tailing me. We would make up over tea then hunt for a new stick to herd my disobedient ass home.
I miss my childhood a lot and part of it is because you were in it. Don’t flatter yourself though, I loved the freedom and how easy it was to get away with lies even kleptomania but mom took that out of me. There’s no way I was sticking with it after she found out. But this isn’t about the strict disciplinarian mom was, it’s about how deeply your absence is felt and how mystical your presence now would have been.
The beauty of loving you as a memory is how perfect and peaceful our friendship is.
The character flaws on part that would dent our relationship are invisible to you and inconsequential. I don’t know what you’d hoped I’d become, I’m not hot about the police or being a police officer but I nurture dreams of joining the army. I picked up reading by the way and it’s become part of me. This happened after I stopped staring at the skies waiting to see you wave or smile at me since mom said you went to heaven and that was the closest I could get to you.
Once it hit me that all I was getting from staring at the skies was a stiff neck and reduced popularity levels, I started reading and I devoured stories some beautiful and true, some depressing and full of gore, deceiving and enlightening, anything I could lay my hands on.
Mom did her best to indulge me, buying novels and supplying me with endless stories, she seems to have forgotten though. Taking care of us is/was a thankless job and it took its toll on her. This extensive reading has filled my head with endless notions of chivalry, countless dreams of utopia, fancy big words which are probably outdated and a skewed outlook on reality. I love it though since it’s enabled me to tour the world and the sea too.
I know dads are stereotypically expected to be distant, sacred, feared, and indifferent; but, I’d have wanted us to be close.
That way I could tell you about my dating woes and inability to think in numbers or do complex calculations. I’d probably introduce you to my friends without filtering through their morals first. I’ve seen a lot of lousy dads and very few commendable ones. I hope you’d be among the few. I wonder what you’d think about the person I have turned into. I wish you were here. That way you’d reign in mom when she gets carried away as she’s bound to. When June comes around and people only have bad Father’s Day stories to share, I know I can’t vilify you. So here’s a shout out old man. I wish I had known you better but since I don’t, I want you to know you’ll be the best dad I never got to live with.