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Day 12 of the Afrobloggers #WABC2021

Todays is a bonus piece for Father’s Day.

Dedicated to anyone who’s lost a father, or anyone who cannot celebrate today for one reason or another. It might be a difficult day, but I hope this somehow lightens your burden!❤️

And when great souls die, after a period, peace blooms. Slowly and always irregularly.

– Maya Angelou

Dear diary, 

Today would have been Ol’man’s birthday. I woke up with a heavy heart. I’ve been trying not to think about him all week, but it’s been impossible! If there’s one thing he was noted for, it was birthdays! He was always so intentional about them!

He would plan months ahead, and make sure that we did something!

Two years ago though, he outdid himself. We went to Mombasa, Kenya for that week! 

It was the most amazing thing ever. And if I’d known he wouldn’t be here for today, maybe I’d have hugged him a little more often that week, kissed him a lot more!

And being himself, constantly wanting to support the local indigenous businesses, he got a large Airbnb, actually owned by a Kenyan. Of course, we visited resorts in the hotel chains to use the spas and have a few other experiences. But for the most part, he made sure the trip would be beneficial to the country. I can’t exactly tell if he succeeded with that, but I know he made a great choice with that Airbnb, because it was lovely! Our host, Tendwa, was remarkable! A tall, ripped 40-year-old man, who’d converted his late father’s house into something comparable to a resort. He was easy on the eyes and had top notch customer service!

We had a wonderful time! Swimming and snorkeling in Diani, glassboating in Nyali, getting massages and spa days, eating amazing sea food! Oh, and Kojo and I would have tried the skydiving in Diani if Mama hadn’t woken up with an “I had a dream… I don’t think you should go ahead with this skydiving”

Ol’man was great with birthdays. I miss him so much!

At midnight, the usual reminder came up.

“Ol’man’s Birthday”

I had to shut my eyes tight, and concentrate on multiple other things, to stop that ache in my chest from consuming me! It’s hard losing a parent. But it’s even harder because he was always so present, always so fully absorbed in our lives!

I woke up to a solemn house. It was almost as if it had been universally decided that no one was going to church. Mama didn’t even come out to eat till around 10:00AM, which was very unusual. The boys were each in their rooms. Kuuku was practicing the violin, and I’m not sure what Kojo was up to. 

I was thinking of heading to the office, to busy myself a bit, when I got a message from Mawuli. 

Hey, are you up for a day out today? I figured since we’re both free, we could do something?

And I know today must be hard. Let’s figure it out together!

 Trust Mawuli to come to the rescue! I needed an out from the house, and I needed it ASAP.

We decided to drive to Aburi. It was a long enough ride to have time to talk, and we could decide on an actual place to have lunch once we got there. 

We talked about Ol’man for the most part. 

His impeccable fashion sense, his heartbreaker smile, his constant want to be a “hip” dad. We talked about some of his funny mannerisms, and his popular phrases. 

And when we got to the Aburi Botanical Gardens, Mawuli brought out a mat, a bottle of wine, crackers and two plastic cups. 

We strolled through the hills for a bit, and then found a place in the shade to sit. After a toast to Ol’man, we just sat in comfortable silence, listening to nature’s sounds around us. 

Until he pulled me into his arms and brought out his handkerchief to wipe tears on my face. I don’t know exactly where the tears were from, or when they started. All I knew was that I was thinking about a time when I had come here with Ol’man. It was so long ago; I must have been barely 6! But mama had traveled with the boys, and it was just me and him. 

“Does it ever go away? Do you know? The pain whenever I think about him?”

I hated crying in front of people…. My face contorted into something ugly when I cried, and I usually sounded like a high-pitched frog! So this was definitely uncomfortable.

“I … I’m not sure. But… you know I’m here, right? Here to help make you feel better.”

I nodded, taking his handkerchief and wiping the tears myself, and trying not to smudge the make-up. 

After a few more silent minutes, I poured myself another glass of wine. But he held my hand and asked me to hold on.

“I don’t want you drunk just yet.” He laughed 

“Uuh… I know I haven’t seen you in a few weeks. And there’s something I need to say. “

My heart started racing. 

Had he met someone? Was there a work wife now? Was this the end of whatever it is this was?

“I didn’t ask… the kiss – I know, it became a bit more than a kiss – but I didn’t ask, and I’ve felt bad about it for a while now. And I didn’t want things to get weird; I like that they didn’t really get weird. But I’d like to do it again and again and I wanted you to know that I would have asked… I just got carried away in that moment. Which is a little strange because I like to pride myself in my self-control…”

He chuckled 

“And I’m sorry.”

Oh God….

“So I want to kiss you right now. But I don’t know if it’s a good idea because it’s a difficult day, and you’re a bit more vulnerable than usual. And you’re drinking too, on an almost empty stomach. So… I mean, I just want you to know, I’d like to do it again sometime.”

How did I get so lucky?! 

I turned around leaned into him and kissed him. It was a little more intense than our car shenanigans had been. And when I felt his trembling hands run through my hair, and felt the growing bulge in his groin, I knew that this prided self-control had definitely gone out the window!

Dear Ol’man 

I miss you! 

Your hugs, your silly comments, your meticulous birthday plans!

Some days are easier. Today has been so difficult. But somehow, I feel as if you sent Mawuli to make it more bearable. He did a good job. 

Ol’man I’m in love with him! And before you left, I didn’t even think he could be that person! I know you liked him; I only wish you could have been here to see this beautiful thing develop between us!

I miss you so much! 

I still cry at night sometimes. I still ask God why. But I’m told with time, it’s going to get better. 

Thank you for living your life so well. 

For making us such a happy family! I took it for granted that you’d always be here. I wish I’d celebrated you so much more! 

Your strength, sacrifice, contagious joy, and magnanimity remain with us. Thank you for being an amazing father – very few men can boast of that!

Happy Birthday Ol’man! I love you! I miss you!

Comments (11)

  1. Powerful piece right there 🥺. The letter to Ol’man is everything. You’re amazing Elise. Well done 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

  2. ‘LOVE’ they say is a beautiful thing… And it supercedes all things… Thanks for the life and love of ur dad… Mawuli will do the magic… Trust me…… Great piece

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