“Daddy, Papa, Aba, Abuji are amongst the names a child will call their father fondly and with deep respect.
How do I begin to identify this person we call father? Other than my mother who is the same species like me…this man I call father is a very new species in my eyes. John Gray says through his book ‘Women are from Venus and Man are from Mars’ should give us an indication that our father is not only a different species but is also from a different planet too. How interesting. Wonder why?
My childlike mind and fond memories with my own father and other fathers I have come to encounter in my life through friends and family alike, says to me that he is the first man…the very important man that will decide and shape how we women will grow to be a daughter, a wife and a mother someday. Pretty powerful revelation to be honest.
Every little girl including myself sees our father as the protector, the trusted, the guide, the superhero that is capable to save the house and the world…and above all, the man who will never break her heart.
My mother told me that when I was born, my father adored me more than her. I had a cupboard full of shoes that beats Imelda Marcos hands down and clothes that will shame the boutiques. More spoilt than that, I even had maids to attend to me for various chores. Yes, I was a totally a spoilt brat but I don’t care. I must be the apple of his eyes at all times.
One of my fond memories of my father was a picture of him carrying me with a plane in my hand at the landing strip in the airport in his khaki coloured Assistant Superintendent of Police- Special Branch suit that made a daughter like me so proud. I felt safe in his arms and proud that my father was a protector of my home and country.
As time passed, I grew to know him and as I watched other father’s way of treating their daughters…I felt was on the right track with my father. My father was doing the right thing for me.
My innocent mind says that I can comfortably dream that my father will walk me down the aisle, cry when I leave the house to my in laws home or protect me from my mother who is always on my back by making a peace treaty with her on my behalf. In a nutshell, he is my most trusted alliance….my buddy in crime and my elephant when I need to ride on his back. So, what can go wrong right? Wrong! A lot of things could go wrong.
The most painful of all is when he is no longer in this world. Second to the list, when he abuses us with words or immoral behaviours. Third to the list, when he chooses other women than us that is not even our mother and the fourth in my opinion is when he does not trust us in our life decision as to whom should our life partner be. The rest of the list, well they are not life threatening to put it bluntly.
Being a socialite since my green years…I have been to too many household and observed many fathers. And I am making a general statement here. There are many kinds of fathers out there. Some fathers really take on their roles seriously with so much commitment and passion. Other takes their role as responsibility demands of them. Some, just for namesake. The former is ideally what it should be. The latter is a game changer.
My Facebook updates from friends shows pictures of father holding them as a teenager, giving them away during marriage and carrying their grandchildren. Some even showed pictures of their father lying on bed unsure whether they will make it tomorrow. Each of these pictures brings tears to my eyes. It seemed like I embrace their moments as if it was my own because my story about my father is no way near them.
I consider myself as one who is not privilege to experience the father that I dreamt as a child. It’s not his fault. It’s just the way life is. I comfort myself by saying that before he was my father, he was an individual. An Imperfect individual who can make mistakes. I have to accept that so as not to judge him.
Now you might be wondering, so how has he changed my life or rather how has his presence affect my life today? To answer to that, he is definitely an influence in my life. He is a soft spoken wonderful gentleman, very broadminded, very stylish, good looking, an excellent socialite and a walking English dictionary.
Ideally, he is like my Richard Gere, Chris Hemsworth and Collin Firth all in one. Because of him, I dreamed the man that I would marry someday will be someone like my Dad. But thus far, there is no one like him. My suitors were better than him in terms of education and credentials but they were nothing like him. Therefore, finding someone I could relate to like how I was with him was impossible.
So, I settled for a second best and silently say a prayer that he will eventually turn out to be something as close as my father. Wishful thinking alright! No one can ever be like our father whom we adore and love a lot. No one can take the place of the face that we first saw and gave our heart to a different species than us women. Whether he is a strict or gentle father…we will always feel safe with him unless he is a monster in disguise.
I have read many stories and cases of father abusing their daughters and still some daughters tolerate that even to the extent that their self-dignity has been mutilated. These women suffer with so much pain in their heart and can never settle well in any relationship as a normal person. If your own blood can betray you, what is a person from another blood.
These women either fall prey to another abusive man or just don’t know how to appreciate a good man. They spent all their life giving in fear and pain that when it’s time to receive, they don’t know how to receive it without suspicion. Some even felt that they don’t deserve to receive it because they have been told that they are unworthy of love, they are not the ‘son’ the family wanted, they are just a burden and on extreme circumstances, be the object of sale to settle a debt or to release a burden off the family.
To these women and even to myself, I can only say that our birth is not a waste. To some, we may be unwanted or less valuable than a ‘boy’ but my belief says a woman is a ‘rahmat’ from Allah.
A woman is the hand that rocks the cradle and the one who will never stop living even the weight of the world is on her shoulder. Whether she had a good childhood life or a bad one, her life can go both ways in terms of her emotional wellbeing as women, a wife and a mother.
Education, life experiences, people whom we come in contact with and our personal perception of what parental relationships are all about shapes our performance being a woman in various roles.
When our hero fails us…I trust that our women, wife and motherly instinct will keep our heads above water in any life challenges as we will deal with it head on. I end with, in spite all these life challenges we face as a woman, it is always nice to have a place on our hero’s lap, a hand on our shoulder to comfort us and tears of gratefulness when our hero sees us as the women he can proudly claim as his blood…that feeling is still the best. The feeling our being a little girl and the apple of our father’s eyes.
My recent meeting with a widowed father of two teenagers, I couldn’t help but to be so proud of him as a single father bringing up two children on his own with no family support here in Australia since the children were 4 and 5 years old after their beloved wife/mother passed away in an accident 8 years ago.
Never married after his wife’s death, he took upon himself to cook, clean and work in various hard odd jobs to keep his little family together. His children are indeed blessed to have a father like him whom will never stop living his life as a single parent whilst putting a stop to his life as a man in need.
My prayers are, may all the women out there have a great and amazing father in their lives whom they can run into like a child at any time of their lives as we metamorphosis into various role being a woman …..something which I am not privilege to have till date.
Nevertheless, I am still grateful to have met a father in my life and I know Allah knows best and wouldn’t have test me in this area if I couldn’t have to bear with it.