I’ve never actually written about my dad, and there’s good reason for this.
For the longest time I’ve tried to block out everything about my dad because it all hurt so much. The good, the bad, and the horrible.
My dad was the type of person that would do anything to make you smile and feel better. He would go out of his way just to accommodate you. It was his biggest weakness but also his greatest strength. But that doesn’t mean he had a lot of friends. A lot of people relied on my dad and talked openly with him about their sins and demons, but my dad never spoke of his own. His best friend died when he was 40 and his other friend died when he was 45.
I looked up to my dad even though I shouldn’t have. He was a cool dad, but a terrible father. He didn’t know how to discipline or punish us, mostly because he had no structure himself.
When I was held back in junior high, I was awarded a Blackberry.
The second time I was held back I was awarded a cruise.
My father cheated on my mother, left his kids and moved in with the mistress. He lied to my mother all the time, and even worse, he lied to us, his kids.
With all of that said, he was still my best friend. When my mother moved to the States to go back to university, I moved in with my dad. At first all we did was fight, but as time went on and I went to therapy, we grew closer. He was my number one person. And I couldn’t have asked for a cooler dad.
My dad told my school my aunt was dying so I could skip and go get rotti with him.
My dad brought me to school 2 hours late because it was my birthday and he felt I deserved a Burger King breakfast.
He then ordered pizza for my detention class so I wouldn’t have to do the detention assignment.
He took me to get my first tattoo and he left me there as well.
And if that wasn’t enough, my dad took me to get condoms and lube when I got my first boyfriend.
My dad was the coolest.
When I had my foot surgery was the first time I’ve seen him so scared. It didn’t help that I was paranoid and crying of pain either. He sat there holding me and when I finally calmed down, they brought me juice and Jell-o, which he stole both.
When my dad got sick he didn’t want me to know, but I found out and I had no idea what was going on. At first it wasn’t too bad, he had surgery and then we spent a lot of time hanging out at home, in his office.
We had a morning routine, where when I woke up I would sit in his office while he worked for about 15 minutes, then as I get ready for school he would make my breakfast and then we would walk together to the busstop while I had my breakfast and tea.
We also had an afternoon routine. He would wait for me to come from school, I would sit in his office, we would talk about my day and when I was done he would leave for work.
I loved it. I miss it. I miss him.
At some point my stepmother asked me to move out because I was a “hindrance” to my fathers recovery. My grandmother didn’t even try to defend me, she basically helped me pack all my stuff up and helped get me out as fast as possible for her own convenience.
I remember at some point my father started chemo and I started skipping school to go with him. We would just sit in the room together and talk about anything and everything. Because I had already moved back in with my mom I had to lie to her about my whereabouts during the day, and when my father dropped me off at home after chemo, she just thought my father was bringing me home from school.
I think after about 6 months it was bad enough that he couldn’t leave home anymore and I took a bus to his house just to hang out with him. He slept a lot around those days so I would just watch him and make sure he’s okay.
When they put him in a special bed, I began writing letters for him, for when he was awake. And sometimes I would read him his comics even though his eyes were closed.
My father once cried after being inside for 3 days, so I decided I would take him for a walk in the front yard. I put his shirt on, grabbed his slippers and lifted him out of bed. He put his full weight on me and while hugging him we shuffled to the front door and down the steps outside. He was so happy. But we only got to spend about 2 minutes outside before he got a chill and I had to bring him back inside and cover him in blankets.
He would also have a lot of tea, as he couldn’t keep a meal down. Moringa was his favourite. And I remember giving him tea and he started to throw up, and I just cupped my hands together and let him throw up in my hands. I knew that was a big thing for me because I am extremely squeamish, but I would do anything for him, I didn’t care if it was nasty or if I got into trouble for it, as long as he was safe and happy.
My dads side of the family put a lot of the blame of his sickness on me. They said things like “you gave him so much heart ache.” and “you were such a difficult child, he couldn’t focus on his health.”
My grandmother once said to me “because of you, he’s dying.” And that’s when I realised blood may be thicker than water, but I didn’t want to be their blood. That was also the moment I decided these people aren’t worth my time, my breath, my energy. So I backed off. I took my distance and in less than 3 weeks I cut them off completely. And I have never been happier.
I don’t understand how someone could blame the death of someone on someone they know. It doesn’t even matter how angry you are, you just can’t do that. Especially not to a child.
I know a lot of people say to move on, or that I should just forget about it, but blood is thicker than water and blood stains.
I tried to protect those people by not writing about it, but they don’t deserve anything from me, and I don’t owe them anything.
I just need to be free of this.