Remembering My Father


June 12 is significant to so many people for many reasons. If you’re Nigerian, you will understand why. But for me, today has a different significance, a personal one. Today marks the 17th anniversary when my father lost his battle with diabetes and asthma.

He was such a brave man. My hero. My first mentor. He carried an aura of confidence about him that made many respect him. I grew up wanting to be like him. I clearly remember my childhood moments with him. At the risk of incurring the wrath of my siblings, I still think I was his favourite.

Dad once said to me:

“I have high hopes for you, I want you to do well. Whatever happens, get your education and make me proud”

He was never the emotional type but that experience, that moment was different. His normally strong voice was softer and he looked me in the eyes. It was a defining moment for me. I can never forget.

News of his death had a significant impact on me. I was deflated. Imagine life as a teenager deflated of hope. I remember thinking that was the end of my dreams of achieving significance in life. And it was; for the next 8 years that followed.

But God had a purpose in all things, including this loss.

And in reflection of that sovereign purpose today, I remember my father.
I remember my father for his bravery in the face of life-threatening illness which he battled for over a decade.
I remember my father for teaching me to pursue my dream.
I remember my father for his unrelentless courage.
I remember my father for his never-ending benevolence, even when it hurt.
I remember my father for his mistakes too (and there were a few of them).

The very things I am thankful for, the very reasons I remember him today became the foundation for how I dealt with his death over the years.

Dad gave his life to Christ before he died. What a huge consolation! And the joy that will fill my soul when I see him again.

Have you lost someone special to you in the last decade? How did you deal with the pain of your loss? How did you pull through? What emotions come to mind when you remember?

Feel free to share your experience here. Leave a comment. You might just be helping someone deal with theirs.

About Joseph Iregbu

I'm a writer, purpose guy, speaker and business consultant. My passion is to help people live with purpose and not waste their lives. I live in the UK with my wife, Temi and our gorgeous Isabel Juda. Let's connect on Twitter and Facebook.

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