For a long time, I have been told that ten years is more than enough time to grieve and be over it already. But tell me, how do you move on from having nothing less than an exceptional father, to no longer having him in your life anymore? My father was very smart, and he liked to fix things. In the afternoons he sat in the garage with his tools on a small table and chair while listening to the blasting radio, fixing God knows what. More than once I had found him ripping apart my electric toys, only to find out he was making them better. This one time, he took my green and yellow electric phone toy. Tears fell down my face when I saw bits and pieces of my favourite toy outside the kitchen door as I came back from playing. With both hands I picked up what was left of my toy and ran to the backroom where I found my mother folding clothes. She heard my sobbing and turned to look at me and calmly said, “Go to your father and see what he is up to.” She turned back to carry on with what she was doing. A flood of emotions came over me. I mean why was she not on her way to shout at my father, after all he ruined my favourite toy.
I found the garage door open I stood there silently with the sun shining on the back of my arms which were folded after throwing my broken toy on the ground. “Five more minutes, I promise you will love it.”
I wiped away my tears and folded my arms again and started tapping with my foot. He took a cloth and wiped clean this small adorable pink television. He plugged it in and went to eTV and Wildcats were playing. I slowly lowered my arms. “I know how much you love watching eTV cartoons after school and sometimes you find your brothers or uncle watching soccer or your grandfather watching his gardening shows. So, this is your own mini-TV so you can watch cartoons anytime you want.”
I jumped up and gave him the biggest hug. All the anger and sadness I had faded away. My eyes were filled with joy with the biggest smile on my face. That day I stayed in the garage with him all day while I watched my cartoons, and he worked on fixing something else.
My father was a lot of things, like my personal comedian because he always made me laugh and tickles were my daily medicine. He was my provider, caretaker and walk mate. He always made or bought me food. He was the one who took me to the clinic whenever I was sick and we took walks around the neighbourhood just before sunset, so that we observed the beautiful clouds and got some air. He was my best friend. With him around I felt happy and at peace. So, the word ‘father’ can mean a lot of good things and my father was all of them and more. He was my first love, the one I never knew I had till he was gone.
This was one of the commended entries in the My Father essay writing competition. Click here to read other excellent essays from the competition.