Today is my Dad’s birthday. November 13. He’s now 53.
I came across this piece of writing The Black Dad You Don’t Think Exists a while ago and it made me think of my dad.
This is not the first time I write about my dad. I did so in primary school as an assignment. I wrote about him, about how awesome he was back then and etc.
A few things have changed, the conversations we have are a bit different. We used to talk about my dreams and hopes, and we still do that. But there are sides of my dad that I did not know back then. He is, however, as awesome as ever.
I love that guy. He’s been there for me from day 1 when I did not know what my surroundings were like, what my life would be like. His name, Issa, was my first word. As I look at the pictures of my childhood I can only see happiness, no matter what.
I remember when he was not well. I did not fully know what was going on. I was 7 and I only knew my dad was staying at the hospital and I would visit him every day. I remember crying, and the sense of emptiness when he wasn’t there to play with me, when he wasn’t there to hug me and kiss me and tell me that he loved me.
And I remember when he finally came back home, where he belongs.
I have his eyes and we’re fairly similar in terms of demeanor. We have the same mannerism and the same curiosity. In his 20s he travelled around before settling in Italy. I plan to do the same: travel, open my horizons and educate myself.
You can find him reading books about psychology or watching the Ivorian TV daily news, or the Italian daily news. He wears glasses now to read and to drive. He’s skinner than he used to be, and although he does not show his years, you can see some lines on his face.
I’ve seen that face laugh with glee, frown in disapproval, smile, and I’ve seen it marred by tears when his mom passed away. I’ve seen it all.
I’ve seen my face marred by tears worried that something had happened to him when I had to fly back to Italy because he was not well less than 2 years ago, and I’ve cried tears of relief knowing that he was okay.
There is one day every year when I cry in sadness and in relief that I still have him here with me and that I’ve been blessed once again with one more year with him, and I hope and pray that I’ll be graced with many more.
Because my dad is awesome, my dad is half of my inspiration. My dad makes me want to strive for the best, strive to be better, strive to make him proud.
And I know he’ll be reading this since he follows my blog religiously…
So Dad, I’m now directly talking to you.
You’re not perfect. No one is in this life. But I would not change you for the world. I was so lucky that the family lottery allocated you to me. You’ve made me laugh, you’ve given me strength and you have with the years become a friend to me. I cherish every moment we spend together, every phone call we have, every discussion we have, every time we get annoyed at each other.
I’m blessed to have you in my life.
I love you.