Today, 23rd June 2014 is supposed to be your 59th anniversary were you to be alive. It would have been a day to roll out the drums, to host a grand feast and to give glory to God for your accomplishments, your strides and strives, and for successfully holding the family ties together. It would have been a grand occasion but then, I am throwing the ‘it would have been’ to the dogs, ’cos it is!
Dad, a whole lot has happened since you left mother earth – the Super Eagles are African champs again, Real Madrid have won the Decima, even Yankee’s got her 1st black President. I am almost certain you are in a better place now. Sure of that, we beseech Almighty Allah to keep you in comfort of the grave till qiyamah.
Pop, I sit here and marvel at your genius in you at naming your five offspring in a sequentially connected manner. I am in awe of how you did it. It is no fluke for you to have given these names with connected meanings. It is sheer beauty, sheer genius: Olasunkanmi (it’s my turn to receive immense wealth), Olayinka (I have been blessed by abundant wealth), Olanrewaju (I am experiencing geometrical increase in wealth), Olalekan (a feather of wealth has been added to my abundance), Oladipupo (God has given me infinite wealth).
I am still in awe!
Dad, you were and still are my favourite human. I have met no human like you in my entire existence. Yes! I will keep saying this. See, we all miss you – your offsprings, wife (mum), your immediate environment (community, workplace, religious bodies), because references are being made to you and your deeds. They see the striking resemblance in us and you can feel the mutter under some folks breathe. Some will even engage and offer good words because we are blessed to be yours.
The extended family as a whole does too, your siblings, your nephews and nieces, your in-laws and those in whose lives you acted as the father figure and mentor.
See Dad, your 1st son is doing his best to be what you were to the family, both nuclear and extended. He is really making a mark. May Allah keep blessing him and the rest of us. I’d soon start doing so too In Shaa Allah.
Dad, do you know he’s now an architect? Yes, he was on his way to being one before you left, he did graduate and even got a M.Ed to boot. You know another interesting thing about him? He’s now married to a beautiful woman, Adeola and they both have beauty of a kid, a baby girl who has been named after your mom. Medinah (who I named Yelena) will clock two years in less than a month from now, she’s started school dad, you are now a Grandpa.
Dad, your Aisha, your only daughter is now fully grown, works with the state government and is engaged. She now has the same outlook as Alhaja, your mom now. The other lady you and mum trained from a toddler, our cousin, Oluwafunsho, remember her? Yes, she’s been married for a while now and she’s blessed with two beautiful kids – the very cute Anuoluwapo and her younger brother. Cousin Funsho is now an impressive businesswoman!
Pop, those last two offspring of yours, the calm Jubril and the industrious Ibrahim hardly know you, they were very young when you left. Let me do small ofofo about them. You see, Jubril (Bucky as he’s fondly called by his friends at home and school) is one year away from being a graduate mathematician.
And your ‘Gambo Shimita’, your last son has turned from a fragile toddler to a big strong guy, he’s very industrious and fearless. He holds the hood spellbound and he’s still the hood champion of Airtel freestyle talent competition. Do you even know Airtel? Your last son sings, raps, has six singles to his name and dad, the young man has a budding clothing line too. The nene of yesteryears is the legendary Gambo of today and the future. Funny thing is, folks don’t even know you gave him the nickname.
Dad, I am still here!
It’s kinda taking me time to get things done but by Allah, I am getting them done albeit slowly and near perfectly. I have been broken but mehn, I am still breathing, Alhamdulillah. Dad, it’s not been a bit rosy since you left. We have fought long and hard for everything we’ve gotten, we are still striving and by Allah, we will keep doing so.
Pop, I didn’t become a dentist as we both discussed, I hated Chemistry in Senior class and I found another interest in the environment in relation with people. I fell in love with Estate practice and Facilities Management, I want to make people comfortable. I have also found a new passion now, I want to see no human being oppressed, dad, I want to study Law and by Allah, I will. I have bigger, very huge ambitions but I can’t tell you all here. I just did this because I miss you big, same way we all have missed you in the last thirteen years.
You know what dad? Mom now has beautiful specks of silver hairs, not much though but beautifully patterned around her low trimmed hair. She’s still a handful though, same old ‘Thatcher’ but we have tried to tame her a bit. Of course, she’s doing the grandparent job in a way that would make you proud if you were here.
Maybe, it could have been easier with you around but Allahu a’alam (God knows best). Dad, you know you and mom helped me with this writing skill? Well, I have done one for mom (here), one for your granddaughter (here) and I have done for a lady I love(d) so much (here). I have done so many others, articles and poetry scattered on various blogs on the internet but I promise you that by Allah, I will do more.
Rest on papa, Happy 59th birthday.
We will keep holding it together dad, we will not falter and by Allah, we will not fail in this life and the hereafter. So help us God. Aameen.
*cues in Luther Vandross’ DANCE WITH MY FATHER*
This I have done on behalf of my mum, my siblings and everyone who is fortunate to have met the amazing Muh’d Solih Alabi Bucknor.
Daddy’s boy is on twitter as @lordrooz