I decided not to write an intro for each piece as I normally do, but this one is special, (all the posts are special but stay with me). It was written by my aunt in honor of her father, my grandfather. He was a great man. One of the reasons I am who I am today. The patriarch of the Adejimi dynasty.
Grandpa, I celebrate you. I miss you. Happy Fathers’ Day.
By Bimpe Modder
There on my piano, in a silver frame stood the portrait of a man I’ve known for so long. Occasionally I would glance at him, I hardly ever stopped to stare, for he never really left my heart. I needed no picture to remind me of him.
He was a friend, a mentor, an adviser and my hero. I admired him for many things and now whenever he comes to mind, I ache and long for what we used to have.
I love the way he led his life;he chose a path different from the one he knew. He was a pioneer in his family, making people to ponder on the choices he made for himself. Some would later say, his profession dictated his lifestyle, for he was a priest, and that they thought must have rubbed off on him. Since many a time I heard him say “We choose the path we want to tread”.I know his choices were his and his alone. Guided by his faith he led a peaceful, simple and contented life and in that peace he raised his children, shielding them from the evil of the world.
He was generous and helpful where it counted. He helped many to start their lives, with his meagre income he sent them to school. He valued education and encouraged it, in his children and many more.
With his earnings he provided for his brood of eight and more. It must have been difficult yet he built houses, not for fancy but to keep his family from rain and wind.
He was gentle, he was kind and never forceful in anyway. He allowed his children to follow their dreams, and even when such dreams were unclear to him, he gave his counsel to calm their fears. To each of them he showed his faith and introduced them to the God he served. He prayed. He sang. He preached. His life was a book for them to read.
He led by example all his life. He never shunned physical work. He grew the food his family fed on. With his friends he shared his blessings, both physical and mental. Friends that covered a wide range and span, from the rich to the poor, he befriended them. He had no interest in creed and social status and God sent them his way to soothe their aching hearts.
In his home he taught simplicity, wastage and affluence seemed to cause him pain. Later in life when his children were grown, he demanded nothing from them, he never sought to burden anyone, contented till he closed his eyes.
To his wife he gave himself lived to please her in every way he could. Never once did his children witness a row, their marriage vows were sacred to the end.
From my friend, I learnt a lot: how to love without expecting, to trust God with the unknown, to define my own destiny contrary to what I see around me. He raised seven girls and a boy, who now have families of their own and in each of them, one can see his traits as they carry on his legacy.
Smoking was his weakness, a habit started during a difficult childhood, when he had to toil on his father’s tobacco farm to raise the pittance for his education. The habit stayed with him almost through out his life, claimed his lungs and perhaps shortened his life, his departure causing his loved ones pain.
I thank God for sending me to him. For the man in the silver frame is my dad, and a father to seven more unique children, who wouldn’t have wished for a better father and miss him everyday as I do.
And they join me in thanking God for the joy of knowing our wonderful dad and for receiving him to His bosom when his work here was done.
P. S. :I wish heaven had visiting hours.