Vivian’s letter to fathers

Allison DImgba and his sons, married to Vivian Dimgba

I didn’t always like my dad. I thought him too strict and tempered. But I was little then, and he had 6 of us, all girls. My mother also didn’t make it easy for him. She was weak on discipline, and he just couldn’t trust anyone else with us. We were his everything, perhaps that was why he came off a little gruff or grumpy most times.

But I also remember the happy moments, when I ran into his arms and he twirled me around until I lost my breath. I remember the moments I had to mop the floors with him and we ended up dancing. I remember him soaking our clothes in the bathtubs and using our legs to beat out the dirt. I remember how he always held and assured me when I cried. There was also other not too pleasant stuff I remember. He’s flawed, just like the rest of us.

He’s an honest man, with high integrity. This is one quality I got from high m. Even though a girl, he raised me to be strong and very confident. He gave me a voice. He told me never to let anyone stifle me. Never compromise my integrity or values. I grew up fearless and independent.

Having a father is the singular best thing that ever happened to me, and when it was time to settle down and marry, that was also top on my priority list. I went for a man who shared a similar value system like my dad, and I’ve never regretted it.

Life wasn’t always kind to him. There were times I judged him a bit too harshly, but over time, and I became a parent myself, I’ve come to understand the many travails that accompany parenting: which is making tough decisions, even though your kids might not like it.

Everything good about me came from my dad. Without those values, I wouldn’t be where I am, doing what I do. Those lessons have also helped me in my journey as a wife and mother. Good fathers do not get enough credit for the awesome role they play in their children’s life. They spend the better part of their time working hard to provide for their families, and they’re judged oftentimes by their little failures.

Fathers deserve a break too. Our society will be split apart, devoid of discipline if fathers are relegated to the background. Every child needs to know they’re loved and also protected. The boys of today will become fathers of tomorrow. So we ought to be careful about the kind of messages, we pass to them.

Responsibility is the keyword. Boys should be taught early how to be accountable in every way. Excuses are unacceptable in a fast-paced society, riddled with mediocrity. Fathers are symbols of authority in the home. They wield this authority, by service and sacrifice to their families.
They need all the physical and emotional support they can get to thrive in their God-given role. They must live an exemplary and dignified lifestyle, or they’ll have little chance of impacting the right values to their children.

My dad is one of life’s greatest gifts to me. And I am indeed thankful.

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