“Daddy, I’ll be moving by next weekend for school”
“Ah! So you mean this Medicine dream is really kaput? Did you ever apply to those schools I brought you their brochures?”
This is normal path of career conversations with Daddy. My Padre has no intentions of letting things go. He is definitely the type to go for the opportunity to whisper “I told you so” with a coy smirk. I have dreaded it so much that it has turned to become such a delight. Like a game of ‘let’s see if you’ve still got it, if you are right and actually know me’.
Fortunately, he also realises that not all battles are for winning…but it won’t stop him from trying.
“I hear Nda Walter passed”
“Yes..yes. The children..oh! not that there’s ever a thing as a good burial, but his children did well with his funeral. It was befitting”
This was my attempt to salvage our conversation from going south towards awkward. Nda Walter was a very safe topic. He was a much older friend of my father’s, and we hung around his family a lot when we were younger, and we were very fond of him.
“That’s great. How is Nda Gold? I hope she is holding up alright? I haven’t seen them in ages”
“You haven’t? Then perhaps you should go and see them now that you are here.”
Classic Daddy move. Of course we both know that’s not happening, but it will be replayed that “I had wanted to come visit, but couldn’t because I was home for a very short time”.
Daddy was pleased to see me. He didn’t say so, typical Nigerian father, but it was in the way he fussed about what I would have for breakfast (Mom was out of town) and how nothing else mattered (not even that we were already VERY late to church) except our current conversation.
This time too he listened, he usually did most of the talking while I listened, but not that day.
I’ll probably always be a Daddy’s girl, and that’s a good thing because for most of my life, I have considered my father blameless. I recently found out how wrong I was, but not a single thing has changed between our relationship. Or maybe it has, but it’s not all bad. Instead, it’s made me more accepting of other people’s flaws (because Daddy was a pretty high standard).
Parents are pretty important to me right now, because I realise they need me more than I need them, and I want for them to know that I have got them. Especially as I am reminded by the losses around me.
May God keep them for us.