We often show appreciation to our mothers, tell them how much we love them, thank them for what they’ve done. Probably because they are the ones who bring us to this world and who take care of us for years and years, but what about our fathers? How often do we tell our fathers that we appreciate what they do for us? Why is it that father’s day is less popular than mother’s day? Maybe because in general, dads have a hard time expressing their feelings so we think it is okay if we don’t show ours to them. Maybe! But our father are of a great impact on our life no matter what. (Well, I know mine is.LOL!)
Melissa and Léane’s father passed away almost 4 years ago now. On this father’s day, they are talking about how loving and caring their father was.
How would you describe your father in three words?
Léane: It’s hard to describe him in only three words, but I will try. One thing that always comes to mind when I think of my dad is his generosity. I can’t tell you how many people I grew up seeing coming home back in Burundi. They would come to stay with us for a while, for food, for help with homework and anything. I used to think it was normal because I was little and then we moved to Cameroon, and I saw the same warm-hearted dad welcoming home people we didn’t even know. When he passed away, I can’t tell you how many people we had never seen before came to tell us what our father had done for them.
The second word to describe him would be family. I have no words to express how he loved us. People love in very different ways, but our dad loved us in every possible way. None of my sisters or my mother would complain and say they never had affection from him. He taught us how to love and protect each other. He always told us that wealth is nothing without family.
The third word: respect. He was a very respectful man. He respected every human being. From the poorest guy selling peanuts in the street to the man in a suit sitting in his office. I remember one day my high school teacher called my dad because I had disrespected her. I will never forget the lecture he gave me about respect that day. That’s why I appreciate every single person today. Well, I try!
What is one thing your father always told you?
L: I remember being in grade 11, a year before I graduated from high school. Well, I had the gift to irritate him. So, one day, after ignoring me for a week, he came to me and said: “No matter what your plans for the future are, know that everything that you do or say today will come back to you regardless of where you go so you should start thinking about it now.” I keep those words very close to my heart. He taught me that if you want to accomplish big things in your life, you should start with your behavior.
Two reasons why you’re happy to have had him in your life.
L: Just because he was my dad and I am his daughter. He only had daughters, and anyone who got the chance to know him can tell you how he would go above and beyond to protect his daughters. He was very strict when it came to us. (I am Duchesse, and I approve this message). I am very glad he was my dad.
My dad had good values and principles. He always fought for what he believed in, and I am very thankful to God for blessing my life with such a loving father.
Three words to describe how your life changed after he passed away.
L: Since he left, I became a more responsible woman. I have learned that my chances are very limited, and there are mistakes that I cannot afford to make today because I can’t find my dad and tell him ‘hey dad, I need your help!’. I had to grow up and be more responsible and make my mum proud.
After my father had passed, I had to be a fighter. I had promised him to achieve certain goals in my life before he left and I have to fight to make sure I keep my promises and attain these goals.
I also learned how to protect and defend myself.
Of you and Léane, who do you think your dad would be the proudest of?
Melissa: My dad would be proud of all of us, I would say! Not just me or Leane but all my sisters.
One thing you would tell him if he was still here.
L: I would say THANK YOU. That’s what I told him the least when he was still alive. I told him how blessed and proud I am to have had him. I also had the chance to apologize for my mistakes, but I never said thank you.
Two things of your dad that you still have today?
M: I kept his perfume. It is crazy I know, but it makes me miss his hugs. Other than that, I’d say I kept his way of taking care of the family and friends. He loved to take care of mum and us, his father, brothers, and sisters! Trust me I would kill someone for my lovely sisters and my mom (heart)
What gift would you give him on this special day of Father’s day if he was here?
L: The first time I felt that my dad was proud of me, was when I graduated from high school. At that period, my dad was in a hospital abroad, and my mother was with him. When he heard the good news, he was so happy I think he could have given me the moon if he could. So on this Father’s day, I would bring him a bottle of Chivas and two glasses and of course my university diploma. And we would drink to that.
Which one of your sisters do you get along with the most?
M: I do get along with all my sisters! I have affinities with all of them. I am very close to Alixe and Léane because we lived in the same house when we became adults. Roxhannah and Nixanne are my sisters, but I treat them like my babies… (#UravyaraGwawe)
One quality you got for your dad?
L: Just one? I don’t even know where to start. I would say I got the generosity from him and also I can’t stand injustice. I remember when I was 10 years old, and I was dancing at HIGA cultural group, they wanted me to switch teams and go dance with kids of my age back then, and Oh my gosh, how I defended myself as if I was in a court in front of a judge or something.
One quality you think Léane gets from your dad?
M: My father gave her his sense of knowing every person’s rights I will say! She knows all her rights, and she would kill you if you try to tell her the opposite! She knows she deserves something, and she will do anything to have it!
What advice would you give to other people who have lost their dad and can’t move on in their life?
L: It’s not about moving on; it’s about moving on the right way. I found my strength in God and my mother’s eyes. She never stopped to fight and be strong for all of us. To people who have lost their fathers,I would say: do the things that would make your father happy and proud of you where he is. Have people look at you and say his/her father would be so proud of his/her accomplishments’.
On this father’s day, let’s show our appreciation to our fathers and actually tell them thank you for what they have done for us and keep doing for us and our families.
’til next time
Lots of Love
I sincerely appreciate you two for making this possible. Thank you Melissa and Léane! Xoxo