Things My Father taught me…..

A week ago, I got a  call that shifted me sideways. I got a call that my father Mr Joel Sunday Adefolarin died. 

My relationship with him has always been beyond father-daughter and mostly in the way that is difficult to explain. I went and saw him and transported his body to be preserved. 

I had awoken that morning and tweeted about my emotional state unbeknownst to me, my spirit already knew what my body was unable to comprehend.

In the past week, I have stayed mostly awake. Not by choice cos I am exhausted but I have found sleep very elusive. To get three hours of sleep, I have had to down liquids I should stay far from and even then. My eyes are puffy like I have been crying but I haven’t.

I decided I would write. HRN has been fabulous calling my attention to how dejected I looked when he saw me and asking me to cheer up. In his characteristic jocular fashion, he helped me see that mourning was the wrong response and to try and see this in the light of a celebration of life. I agreed and hopefully have turned the corner.

I trust that following this piece, I will sleep soundly for a long time.

The things my father taught me.....
1. Hard work does not kill- when we first moved to the farm, my father had the idea to make it a family homestead and so we, his daughters did all the farm work. There are hardly any tasks done on a farm that I cannot undertake. As a teenager, I offloaded truckloads of 50kg bags of corn with my back, made fish meal from scratch, planted harvested and processed cassava into garri and fufu while being in charge of a pen of chickens that I had sole responsibility for, from day old to point of lay. If hard work could kill, I would have died before age 13.

2. The elements are there to serve you- rain, sun, they meant nothing to my father. Other than mutual respect, they did their thing while he did his, they went mostly unnoticed. If it was raining and you ran inside, my father would calmly ask if you had finished your task and if you pointed out the rain, he would ask if you are made of salt. Usually, you turned back and faced your task.

3.  Money is just a tool- he it was who taught me how money is just a tool and a very bad master. If he had, he spent. If he didn’t, he was fine. There was no money too large to give to something he believed in. If he felt you were unworthy, you could be dying and he would let you know the money he had was for so and so and it was his prerogative to spend it as he felt as its owner.

4.Write things down- after the debacle with the ex, I am not sure this is such a good thing but I learnt it from him. If he had half a thought, he would write it down while he thought about the other half. I write mostly everything down.

5. He believed people- you had to have serially exhibited bad behavior before he would believe you could do wrong. He believes in the goodness of every individual. I do too. He worked with young people and was able to get quite a number of young people off the streets into the Boys Brigade in the 70s because of this singular trait. He just didn’t believe there was a bad child. He believed influences could make a person miss their way but always had hope.

6.  He lived on his terms- some may see this as stubbornness or selfishness but I am not sure it’s anyone’s right to make that call. One thing you cannot say he refused to do was own his choices. He did. I dare not say more.

7. Forgiving One’s self for bad choices- he taught me this well. I have had to do same and I understand how it is very important to have the quality of life you need for yourself.

There are so many other things he taught me that I am not ready to share. Maybe I am not even aware of some of them as yet.

I am looking forward to celebrating him and grateful for the time and relationship we had.

Sun re o, Baba elediye 3.50, Pa Ade-Idowu, Baba Idowu, My Daddy Daddy. I am sure you have met up with Elizabeth Iyabo, Aunty mi Yinka and Adefolarin Junior.