Today would have marked my Dad’s 80th Birthday! The last birthday we celebrated together was his 70th! I remember it like it was yesterday and I so nearly did not make it, you see, just 14 months before his 70th, I immigrated to New Zealand from South Africa. Today, I am still grateful that I was afforded the opportunity to celebrate his birthday with him one last time.
My Dad and I shared a close bond and relationship. He was a man who lived with honesty & integrity. He came from a large family and at a very young age had to leave school to help his family, he was one of the eldest of 12 children. I think of my Dad’s humble beginnings and I salute him, I am in awe of what he made of himself, his legacy he left begin. He was an intelligent, tough man, a take no attitude & drama man, but was well respected. To me, he was my Daddy, my protector, my hero that was always there for me and always so incredibly proud of my achievements.
I read articles about fathers who have not been there for their daughters, who have not had the time of day for their daughters, and it saddens me as I know what I had with my Dad and how he has helped shape my life and how he has helped me to become a strong, independent woman who knows she has a choice in life, a woman who is ambitious, a woman that can face life head on and still be loving and compassionate, but most of all, he has shown me what an amazing Dad’s role is. Anyone can father a child, but it takes a real man to be a Dad!
To my Dad: I still think of you and miss you every single day! I am grateful for the time we had together and how you helped Enlighten My Life. Happy Birthday Daddy. With lots of love, your baby girl!