A letter I wrote to my dad on Father’s Day this year. What a privilege.
How privileged am I to have grown up with a father?
I learned from Daddy to swim in the sea and ride the waves (of life). Dad taught me to think before I speak and to use my words wisely. I also learned from Dad that a woman should always be neat on her herself, take smaller steps than you do and be skillful. From Daddy we learned to love running and to appreciate the unity of a family around a barbecue fire. We learned to appreciate nature because we could grow up on farms. Daddy taught us to appreciate music; on weekends we would always blast the music as loud as possible at home and we would all sing and dance along. From Abba to Niel Diamond. Dad also taught us to eat egg sandwiches when Mum was not at home and Dad had to ‘cook’.
I remember so many great memories with you: The first time saw my dad crying when I was 6 years old; Mom was in the hospital after Andri’s birth and we walked into the house from kindergarten; Dad said we should all sit on the bed together and pray because Dad’s 4th child was born.
I remember how Dad taught me to ride my bike in Koue-Bokkeveld, even though I sometimes rode into the rose bushes.
I remember how Daddy bought me a microphone in Citrusdal, because Dad always believed in my dreams.
I remember that every time I got a boyfriend, Dad would sit with me in my room and discuss the important things of a relationship and warn me against the temptations of life.
Daddy would always wake us up early on Saturday mornings, and there we would learn to help tidy up and work in the house, because one day we would also have to run our own households in a disciplined way.
And even though Dad was always careful with money, Dad taught us to never make it an idol. All four of us would sit on Dad’s lap together and Dad would always say: “Look how rich I am!”.
I remember Daddy taught us what it is to have faith – how quiet Daddy would get every time we had to move to a new city, new province and new farm. We would drive away from Ceres and leave our lives behind, say goodbye to our house – Rolene, our house help, would cry and Mom would sob, but Dad just always had a quiet confidence of faith in God. I remember the times Daddy would send me to the bathroom to give me my a hiding, and then never showed up. Deep inside you, there was always a tenderness (just like with Grandpa Hannes). I still remember the cold, dark school mornings where Daddy dropped us off for school at the bus stop and always said goodbye with a kiss. Your daughters will one day marry a loyal and hard-working man, who will work during the week and attend church on Sundays, because that’s what we learned from Dad. We also learned from Daddy that you will make a lot of mistakes, but that it is never too late to rely on God’s mercy every new day. I remember how tired Daddy would come home to our chaotic house in the evenings and then make time to check up on us where we did our homework in our rooms. Dad taught us to work hard as for God and not for people. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Dad asleep. Dad was always awake, making plans to take care of Dad’s family. Always up early before anyone else.
We would have loved to make Dad an early morning coffee today and give you ‘wine gums’ and biltong. But we know that Dad is in Egypt now and that it is part of God’s wonderful plan for your life. I miss Dad every day. Because of a loving earthly father, we can believe in a loving and caring Heavenly Father, thank you for that.
I love you!