My father is my idol

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honoring her father’s endurance: Taufua Sili Apelu.

honoring her father’s endurance: Taufua Sili Apelu.

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Lumepa Hald

Spreading your wings on this earth is when you have a deep connection with your father, as far as I am concerned. I am an idealist remember. 

My poor father is often beaten in my head from the many disappointments I have in myself. But he has earned being my idol besides the fact that he told me to say short prayers when we both woke at dawn to pray in my innocent days. But he never failed to set the alarm clock at three a.m. for my sake now, I believe. 

And he also earned that same title because he walked more than preached though he is a man of fewer words still. But my father urged me to write poetry by giving me a red exercise book when I was a teenager after he read my funny poetry. Funny is not yours truly’s definition of poetry ever, but he and my sisters had a good laugh about the depth and darkness in poems I wrote, so one time I included an umbrella as a solution of the downpour to give them a taste of the light at the end of the tunnel with the aspiring poet, “mepa”. Some people who read me don’t get me. No worries please dear reader. 

My own father is one to have mastered the art of reading me so that when he does, he adds to the confusion and I am left as an imperfect writer in the perfect world that surrounds us. 

But it is father’s day and Sunday it is of course. Yet, to honor my father’s endurance, there is some silly laugh inside me for I believe children are angels and closer to God than any of us. So for father’s day, a child’s best memory should be used as her own father’s pass to heaven’s gate. This may reduce the crowd up there when each child, you and me included, is done reflecting?

My best memory of my father is one that never leaves me. But to know how much I linger in there is to know what kind of man he is, sort of, because you can never really know someone unless you are them. My father is like many solid men and unhappy women unaffectionate. 

But his affections are showed elsewhere. You’d have to know him deeply to receive the hidden hugs he sends out occasionally, like yellow butterflies are rare and then all of a sudden, gloriously abundant. Comedy is his favorite pass time so he has that in spades. Sarcasm is the true word for it. And if you are lucky like me, you will not know his jokes are all at your expense in the end.

But my best lingering memory for my father is a simple one to you but a lingering one to yours truly. A rainy day I recall and maybe it was a Friday from the upbeat feelings I get every Friday. But I was wee young. I was ten or somewhat a little older.

My father’s hand holding mine woke me up. We were in the confined car, heading home from the airport. He held my hand all the way to our small but happy home where my siblings rivaled daily over who will eat the guava we saved from whose branches. I pretended I was asleep. 

Whenever I complained to my father about my siblings he would reason with me to say, “Well, imagine life without them. Would you like it?” In which case I forgave my siblings immediately and took the side light to let them take over the guava trees at their own pace. 

My father was a grower of fruit trees for his family as a hobby. But it was that which made us wake up on Saturdays to fill our lungs with fruity smells and to privately meander the house with our own small demands about what the lazy day will eventually bring. 

Life sped by as it does, but my father’s grey hair was already his mark for wisdom and truth in all things except who stole the toddy, a formula for remembering Distance is speed over time in physics. My father had a funny remark for everything including how own long awaited death. 

Yet when it came to spelling out his own griefs, he was and still is tight lipped. 

But my best memory of my father; My father holding my hand is the most important memory to me to date. I know of children who starve for such a memory. The gist of the memory to a little girl is such that the hand of her father in hers showed clearly his vulnerable heart. I saw the hopes he had in his own life in the silence. 

I heard his screaming for his own mother and felt the smiles of his father on him. I saw the flowers in his mind blooming and the endless laughter from his siblings. My father is not dead though I write this with difficulty. But I guess it is time to reveal here that life is only short of time but it is never short of meaning. My father’s hand in mine showed me his undying love for his children.

To end this rag, I would like to say that we should be like grateful children only if we want the world to be wonderful. Children have faith in things they see, not in what people say. 

And to say that our fathers are idols is superb. I think it should be an aim for all fathers to be heroes to their own children. It should be instilled in fathers that to earn a child’s heart without morally forcing them is excellent for mankind.

In fact, a good father does not need an explanation when he is sidetracked. He is passed straight to heaven for being present in his children’s lives come rain or shine. He is idolized by children, by angels. But when you meet him as a stranger, he is simple and generous all the same. May you have a blessed life!

© Samoa Observer 2016

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