So, I honestly didn’t plan that this would be my first post this year, I was supposed to put something up last Sunday, but yeah, stuff… Anyways, an apology would be meaningless seeing as I haven’t written anything here in almost 11 months. It is what it is though.
It’s the 30th of January 2016, today, my father would have turned 69. Having decided that I was going to write this post, I wondered what form it should take. I at least knew I didn’t want to write another letter to him – those have served their purpose. And so I’ve settled for what I believe I’m good at doing, the purpose for which this blog was created in the first place, musing. So hear goes.
The last two years plus of my life have had some incredibly beautiful moments, moments I will cherish for a very long time. But they have also had some of my darkest moments yet. That the journey of self-discovery is a never ending one has actually never been more significant to me than in this period. I’ve literally watched myself grow in areas of my life that I thought my “foundations” were pretty set in solid bedrock. While a lot of the original foundations remain intact, I have come to see things with a new perspective, and to interact with people in ways that make me look at myself from even the recent past and shake my head at how ignorant I was and still have a tendency to be. In a general sense though, as I have to come to many realizations born of instruction, reflection, and epiphany I have come to appreciate a great deal more the wisdom my dad possessed.
If you’re reading this you’re most likely not new to this blog, and as such you probably know how I feel about my dad and how much I loved him. But each stage of life, with its attendant struggles, challenges, and victories provides you with lenses through which you view people in your life. As a child I viewed my father as an enigma: one moment he was the greatest storyteller ever, who brought laughter and good cheer with him; the next he was discipline and strictness come to life, keeping you on the straight and narrow path. Later he became my boss; the years responsible in great part for the kind of man I am today. Then he was my mentor (whether I wanted the advice or not). In the twilight years of his life, I viewed him mostly as a man; incredibly intelligent and wise, but also inherently flawed. I respected a lot of his views, disagreed with some, but felt for the most part I needed to be free from his shadow and live my life the way I wanted it. However, the most recent phase of my life has added a lot more understanding and several tonnes worth of respect to the final lens I viewed him through before he passed away.
This year I will turn 30. Using any “standard” definition of manhood, I believe I can call myself a man (if you’re bringing a definition with the word “marriage” in it, just stop where you are). As a man, I miss my father. Having gone through certain levels of struggle and trial, especially in the last 12 months, I long to have a father-son conversation with him on a man-man level. In some ways I’m happy he’s not around because I know that pressure to do (or not do) certain things would have been higher if he were. But for the most part, I miss the fact that I can’t listen to his insight or his perspective on some of the things I have gone (and still am going) through. I want to tell him things that I probably haven’t told anybody (or have told only a VERY select few). I want to ask him questions about his struggles and trials and how he conquered them (or didn’t). I want to tell him how much I appreciate the sage wisdom he shared with me years ago; too early for me to understand some of them properly. I want to tell him I’m sorry for being stupid and naive about certain things, and how I can see life a lot more clearly now than I did back then.
So, on this day as I remember a great and absolutely awesome man, even more so, I am grateful I can also remember him as the loving and wonderful father he was (and continually strove to remain).
Happy birthday Chief Tunde Kunama Saywerr (Major rtd.). Continue to live on in our memories. Continue to rest in peace.