By Gatuiri kathendu
I was not born yesterday, that’s for sure. And I remember fairly well that with growing up, compared to today, the distance between fathers and their daughters was just so evident. Not that they never communicated or anything, but you see those traditional spaces you keep between the two? Yes that one.
I can’t remember when I hugged my father when I was a child. But you can be sure I was sure that he loved me. So I had nothing to worry about. Actually, the thought of hugging him had never even visited my mind at any one time.
Until this one day-my graduation day. Having gone through years of class and now it was the crowing time. His look at me in that graduation gown just made him glow. I could see the glow-so evident on his face. And that day, just after we had been awarded and the ceremony was over, I went to meet my relatives and guess what? My father hugged me. For the first time in my entire twenty something years.
Man! I can’t explain the feeling. My eyes melted. This is a feeling I will never forget. Whether he hugs me again or not, that hug just ministered to every joint, nerve, blood cell, of my system.
Today, I look around and see the many youths who have grown without a father or a father figure in their lives (for whatever reason), and my heart goes out to them.
Which man is there to encourage them on when things get tough? Or celebrate them when they make it? Or even caution them when they seem to get off the lane?
Where is that father that can be looked up to? The one that can hold their son or daughter and embrace them when puberty hits and everything around seems all confusing and appealing at the same time?
Where are the mentors that can push us to become the best that we can be?
Some reasons for fatherlessness are understandable e.g. death. But also reasons like divorce and separations have become too rampant until it is almost becoming a culture. And this is scaring.
The embrace of a father is what most boys and men need today. This does not necessarily mean a biological father (though this is just the best idea), but if a man knows that there is an older man he can confidently hold on to, then that man can confidently walk tall. For he is not alone.
Older not only in age but experience, wisdom, advice. A mentor. A sound adviser who sees the best in the man and corrects with love. A man of sound character and firm in principles. A man who is ready to make the other man better than himself.
Such a man is worth of being called a father. And his embrace is such a blessing in disguise.