I love trees and I love my dad. No, my dad is not a tree, but every time I walk past a tree and hug it (yes, I am a tree hugger!), I think of my dad. I think of the magic he can do, what he can create from that old tree, when it come to the end of its life. When the tree dies, he will give it new life in the form of a TV cabinet or wardrobe, kitchen counter or a desk for the executive’s study.
Since I can remember wood has been an intimate part of our family. The smell of WoodDoc, mahogany stain, varnish and sawdust mixed in with Old Spice after shave (I don’t think he ever used Old Spice, but for some reason it’s part of the equation) will forever be “daddy” smells to me. His furniture has adorned houses around South Africa for many years and, just like him, these items are strong enough to wither the storm and stand the test of time.
What is a father? Someone said “Any man can father a child, but it takes a real man to be a daddy”. Pope John XXIII said it is easier for a father to have children, than it is for children to have a real father. The meaning of father will be different for all of us. What makes my father a daddy?
His roots are firmly grounded and will not waiver. He knows what he stands for. He has a very firm set of beliefs and even though he will never impose them on you, they are always there. He taught me about Jesus and taught me about life.
Like a 100 year old tree in the Amazon, he is always there. We are both stubborn. In fact, I think I got that from him. This, of course, has led to a somewhat explosive relationship over the years. If I make a decision, my dad will never, ever tell me not to do it. Instead, he might tell me why he thinks it’s not a great idea and send me off to do my thing. If I make mistakes, as well all do, my dad is there with open arms, waiting for me to return. Never will he tell me “I told you so”, instead he will do what he can to help me pick up the pieces and start over fresh.
Like the tree accepts the weather, he accepts me for what I am. My dad has never tried to change me. I know that I am good enough and that he is proud of me, no matter what. He loves me unconditionally. Never in my life have I felt that I am a burden to him or that I am intruding on his life. His door and heart is always open, filled with love and laughter.
Even though I might have broken his heart a hundred times in my lifetime, he has never stopped believing in me. He has loved from the day I was born and I know that he forever will. A daughter will forever be her daddy’s little girl. For a girl, her daddy will always be her first love. Someday she might find her prince in shining armour, but here daddy will always be her king.
A nonnet for my dad:
A tree standing on the river bank
Roots deeply settled in the ground
Tall and strong, unwavering
Branches gently swaying
Soaking up sunlight
Drinking the rain
Ek is lief vir jou pappa!