Let’s give some credit to our fathers this Father’s Day

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Father and son. Image from http://africanleadership.co.uk/blog/?p=1153

When was the last time you told your father – if he’s still around – that you love him. Can you remember the last conversation you had? Whether it was ten minutes ago or a couple of years back, would you be content with the last words you both said to each other? Do you even remember the last time you told your father that you love him?

Father and son. Image from http://africanleadership.co.uk/blog/?p=1153
Father and son. Image from http://africanleadership.co.uk/blog/?p=1153

May had been a crazy month for me. About three days after my birthday, I got a call that would change my life forever. My dad had been admitted to hospital. Nothing would ever describe the way I felt after hearing those words. I literally felt a chunk of breath kicked out of my chest and for the next 45 minutes as I drove to hospital nothing else crossed my mind apart from the fear of losing him.

My next couple of weeks would be spent taking care of the stubborn man. I call him stubborn because he would get to a point of refusing critical surgery just because he wanted to. His stubbornness also stems from the fact that the last time he had surgery, he would have risked his life if not for the persistence of my loving mother asking him to go and get checked out. Men. Sigh. But I think the thing that scared me the most is a comment I received from an acquaintance of mine. He had heard of my dad’s story and the only thing he could say was, “I wish my dad would still be around and in your dad’s shoes. I’d like to see him suffer for abandoning my mum and me when we needed him the most.”

See, we’ve sadly grown up in a society where fathers aren’t given enough credit. This may be due to the fact that most of them bail out immediately their partner announces that they are pregnant or from the fact that most of them weren’t raised to be fathers, but to be men. Men who look for ‘manly’ jobs, dress up to go do their ‘manly’ duties and come home, put their feet up and expect food on the table because that’s the ‘manly’ thing to do.

But don’t you think that our fathers deserve some credit? I mean, don’t they also try and play their part?

Sure we consider our mothers our day-to-day heroes. From the way they took care of us since we were born to all the sacrifices made to make sure we made it to where we are now to the ways in which they come through for us even when we’re all grown up. I can bet you there’s no way a mother will turn you down no matter what situation she’s currently in – like how we just pop by for dinner at their house without even being included in the budget (since you moved out years ago) but you still get out of there satisfied to your fill.

Mothers are rock stars but dads also deserve some credit. In a video made a few years back in a campaign to get men to get checked out for prostate cancer, they were asked whether they had told their fathers if they love them. Only three said yes. They were then asked to call them up and tell them that they love them and as you watch the video you see how hard it is for this group of men to call their fathers and tell them that they are loved, on speaker phone. The reactions by the guys are hilarious, you actually end up shedding a few tears from laughing a few tears, but at the end you think, ‘when is the last time I told my father I loved him?’

We all come from different backgrounds with different stories about our parents but after seeing my dad in hospital that first day, it all changed for me.

It doesn’t really matter what your father might have done wrong to you, some people really long for their father to be around one last time just to tell them that they love them. So this Father’s Day, don’t pass up on that opportunity. He might have not done everything right his whole life, but give him some credit. Tell him you love him.

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