Forgive and Forget Pt 2: Like Father Like Son?

I’d like to think I’m a strong guy. I stand at 6 feet 4 inches tall, go to the gym frequently and conquered a Tough Mudder event recently. As I edited the video accompanying this post, I realized how tough it was to speak about my dad on camera. Why was it so hard to talk about someone who wasn’t in my life? Now of course, there are 2 sides to every story and I will never know what stopped my dad from looking for us as kids since he is now deceased, but what if I could learn about him from a close source? A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak with my uncle (on my dad’s side) for the 1st time as an adult and he opened up to me about my dad.  I’m thankful to both my uncle and my elder brother for the information disclosed. (Click this link if you missed out on my earlier post about my dad)

Learning about my dad made we wish I had a better relationship with him while he was alive. Not because I wanted to be like him, but because it felt good to “solidify” my identity. As a black man, finding your identity is crucial and I already knew who I was, but it takes your ego to another level when your traits are traceable to your dad. I learned about my dad’s writing skills, fashion sense, and business acumen alongside some of his downfalls. For me, this was perfect! I thought to myself, “this is why I am like this.” I love some of the same things my dad loved!

 

The rejoicing was short lived as I learned how his story ended. My dad was a wealthy man who made some ill-advised decisions and ultimately saw his fortune dwindle. Women also were a weakness and there were examples of how that affected his relationship with my mother. After hearing about my dad, I realized he could never solidify my identity as God had already done so. My dad serves as a guide, a course map provided, that will allow me to avoid the mistakes he made. I know personally how it felt switching settings as a young kid and losing the brittle relationship I had with my father, so it makes me yearn for the opportunity to be there for my children. I’ll be the version 2.0 of my dad and I’ll carry his name on with honor.

 

Sidenote: I love my mom for taking care of me and making me into the man I am today. She made the most out of nothing and continues to amaze me with her faith and perseverance.

 

 

Things I learned about my dad:

  1. Meticulous – My dad was so particular about details. He was very fashionable and used to have an Italian tailor fly out to him and get his measurements. I also learned that he used to have all his garments ironed, including under garments. They say the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree and I may be right at the root. I’m not as picky, but I also pay attention to the small details.
  2. Intelligent – My dad was into telecommunication. I never knew this and as a kid I just remember him going on business trips and coming back with gifts. I learned he had done some work with the Nigerian president at the time (Obasanjo) and was a very sought after contractor.
  3. All about the business – My dad never wore jeans because he said they were for kids! Lol. This I actually remember, because I never saw him in jeans. He did wear some Euro high water shorts from time to time, but that was swaggy back then. I recall going to his office after primary school and waiting for him to conclude his business before heading back home.
  4. Kept Records – My dad made videos of all his kids. My uncle said he would show me sometime. He also kept a journal and jotted down notes frequently. I would give my hairline to get a hold of his journals.
  5. Not so good things – I can keep these with me in my heart. RIP Dad. I promise I won’t write about you again as I have gained peace with you. I’m going to finish up what you started.

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