“I want to marry a man like my daddy when I grow up, a man of peace.” These were the words I uttered one day as a seven or eight year old girl. I never quite understood the profundity of the statement till about ten or twelve years later when I looked around and noticed that very few young girls will ever say something like that about their fathers.
Philip Whitmore Snr said, “Any fool can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a Daddy!” Its Father’s Day today and I join the rest of the world to celebrate Fathers, every son’s hero and every daughter’s knight in shining armor. Today, I pay tribute to two wonderful men who have helped me understand the love of my Heavenly Father through the love they have shown me.
The first man was first my pastor Adeyemi Fabayo, but is now my Father. He is ever supportive, constantly cheering me on to chase my dreams till they become reality. One incident comes to mind. Some years ago, while I was writing my GCE O’Levels, our family car suddenly developed a fault. I was running late for the examination and the subject was Mathematics! (trust me, you need all the time for a math exam). My mum was already getting upset and worried. I just asked her to call ‘Fabo’, as we call him to come and pick me up. She called him and explained the situation on ground. Before we could say ‘Jack Robinson’ he arrived and took me to the exam centre. I later found out he was at a far distance from us that day but travelled all the way down because he couldn’t afford to disappoint me.
The second man is my biological father, Babatunde Ayorinde, my man of peace. I always tease him because he is a man of few words. He is a man of courage, an epitome of love, ever willing to give up just about anything to ensure I am happy. I can never forget my days on campus when he would stop over almost every weekend to see me in school before heading home. We would stay in the car and gist for a while. He always brought me snacks, food and drinks. My roommates and friends always looked forward to the weekend so they could get a share of the goodies. They would wonder what kind of daddy this one is. That’s my daddy for you! He doesn’t waste time or mince words to correct me whenever I mess up.
Today, I say a big “Thank you” to you both. Thanks for the hugs, the spanks, the treats…. Thanks for everything!
To anyone out there who has lost their biological father or for some reason never really experienced a father’s love, all hope is not lost. There is a God who is the father to the fatherless, the husband to the widow. I enjoin you to let Him in so that you can experience the greatest love of all. For God is love! Happy Father’s Day!!!