Every year I try to do something special for my father’s birthday; last year I wrote him a poem, the year before I wrote a song (and sang it in church) and so this year I wondered if I should write him a play or do a script for a movie, since it seems like his birthdays bring out the creativity in me. Problem was, I couldn’t agree with myself on what theme to use, if I wanted to publish (or if I would want to publish) when I got done and then it occurred to me, why not write him an open letter? Especially in these days when Nigeria is rife with people writing open letters and paying heavily to publish the dirty details of their just as dirty dealings in the name of an ‘open letter’.

Well here’s mine:

Dearest daddy,

                        How are you, work, and the rest of the family? If all is well, doxology.

Pause. Remember all those old school letters? You know, the ones with ‘ditto’ at the top right hand corner, the time stamps, silly phrases, and a smidgen of perfume (or air freshener) if it was to the opposite sex? And don’t even be fronting like you didn’t send or receive one in your time! Ok, so I digress, let’s get back to the letter.

Dearest daddy,

                        Happy birthday. It’s amazing how quickly another year has come and gone. You’re stronger, wiser, and aging gracefully (I’m proud to say my dad is as fit as a fiddle)! I bless God for his hand upon your life, I’m grateful I have you, and recently my days have been filled with prayers for two things:

  • That the man who ends up stealing my heart is at least half the man you are
  • That my kids are blessed like me to know you!

Daddy, growing up was a lot of fun! The movements, transfers and uncertainty of what part of the world my next school holiday would be, and of course the beautiful memories from each of the places.

I remember when I was learning to drive. I knew you were watching me from your ‘all seeing window’ and so I wanted to ‘show myself’, just to impress you. The result? Me crashing into a parked Mercedes and breaking the headlights (don’t be quick to judge; I was speeding and reversing round a tree and some cars, and yes, I was driving a manual)! When I ran up to your office crying, you laughed and said, ‘did you wound yourself’? I said no and you told me to stop crying, go back to my teacher, and drive. Of course you took care of the headlights. Daddy, these days Louis Hamilton has nothing on me!!! Somehow I’ve stuck with automatics, but that’s a different story.

I remember when I was sick in final year at Uni and had to be brought home by my friends. The night you came in to my room and I threw up (in the name of trying to eat), you held me and prayed the most heartfelt prayer I have ever heard. Did I get better or what!!!

I try to be the best I can be at everything I do, if it’s only to hear you laugh and say (the way only you can), “my champion”, or my personal favourite, “super girl”! Truthfully daddy, that’s the driving force for most of the things I do!

You know what I just remembered daddy? You know the time I said I wanted to be a doctor, and you spent almost all your life’s savings on lesson teachers just because I couldn’t grasp math? I still don’t understand it but that’s by the way. So my JAMB results are released and when you saw that my score for English was higher than the sum of the scores I had for biology, chemistry and physics you said, ‘you know you cannot study medicine like this’. I’m happy you said that because then we started looking for something (anything) I was good at. After I argued with you about something we both watched on TV, it occurred to me that I liked to talk (light bulb moment) and the rest as they say, is history!

Many times we have argued (but that’s because you’re human and I’m a fairy), and many times we haven’t agreed on things. Your favourite saying? ‘What I see sitting down you would not see even if you climbed an Iroko tree’ (I bet your parents have told you that countless times too).

Remember the first time you read my blog? After confirming that I wouldn’t get into trouble, what with the activist slant the posts were taking, you told me, ‘carry on, you have my support’. Thank you for supporting this dad, and every other whim I’ve fed over the years (and believe me they’ve been plenty)!

Another thing you liked saying is ‘when you go to a place, keep your eyes on the thing that took you there’. Oya o, the thing that brought me here is getting another degree and I promise to do you proud while I’m at it……you know how we do!

As you celebrate another milestone added to your already fabulous life, welcome to a New Year dad; one in which all your desires will be fulfilled.

I love you more than you know!

To the best 'Fairy GodFather' there is!!

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Comments
  1. *sobs* *sobs* now i gotta go look for my father wherever he is. damn! nwa daddy. lol. the shower of love and affection from pikin to papa. nice tho! Happy Birthday to DADDY!!!!

    Like

  2. Chuchu says:

    I like. very touching and well composed. it makes me remember all our folks have done for us. I can’t wait to start giving back. Happy birthday Uncle. I also remember when he prayed for me once when I was very ill and it was like …… I couldn’t eat for days and after his prayers o boi was I hungry

    Like

    • Our folks have tried, they’ve been there for us, still are there now! And I’m grateful that God used daddy to bring you back to health; that’s what God specializes in doing, using people!

      Like

  3. Pina says:

    Happy Birthday Dad! (by affiliation) …… You’re sooo right about those “Ditto” letters lol i cringe sometimes when i see them, some of mine even had “…Top of the day and compliments of the season” lol (hillarious)

    Like

    • Birthday wishes received, will pass them on!!! We all went through that silly letter writing phase, things like that make for more profound story telling!!! How’s Germany dear? Hope you’ve mastered the language already!

      Like

  4. dhjax says:

    Nice one… Sadly me dad and I keep things formal 🙂

    Like

  5. adaora says:

    do u remember putting teardrops on d letters?
    Beautiful write up. Glad he’s my dad too!

    Like

  6. #croft says:

    Wow… this one made feel like 6 again, when daddy was an idol and could do no wrong. When all innocence hadn’t been stripped. Sadly,i cant say that today, but i sure wish i could have such a relationship with my dad today.
    Fantastic write-up. I love it.

    Like

    • All our daddis are idols, probably in different ways, but idols nonetheless. I’m sure you could be the idol your kids will write about in their time, that’s what I’m praying for myself!!!

      Like

  7. Aaaw! So sweet of you.

    (Wish I could do the same…)

    Looking forward to the time when I’d receive this kinda letter! 🙂

    Like

  8. hajjoh says:

    Very heart felt and beautiful. It is a sweet thing to celebrate the ones we love. It is no small blessing. lost a parent this yr, still beat myself over not doing enuff for my mum when she was around, most people like me like to procastinate putting off the good times for when we have several millions in the account which is very wrong b’cos the best celebrations are with the simple things a call,sending a recharge card , paying a visit, giving a hug a kiss or those simple kind word(s) “I LOVE YOU”. I still have a chance with my dad, I will do my best for him, So help me GOD. Thank you FGS for this letter.

    Like

    • True! The simple things are the best Hajo; I’m sorry for your loss and I’m happy this letter has inspired you to do great by your dad – that’s the best compliment you could pay the chronicle!

      Like

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