I really miss my father – don’t worry this is not one of those emo blogs… (neither is it an elmo type blog: always strangely happy with bad grammar and references to myself in third person). It was his birthday yesterday, and his wedding anniversary the day before. I just realized that I haven’t written too much about my pops since his passing, and for all those wonderful friends who offered condolences to my family and I without knowing who he is, I present to you just a glimpse of what my Dad was like.
I wanted you to see how wonderful a man he is, beyond highly insufficient twitter updates during the time. This is also at best, very insufficient in description.
My dad went to be with our LORD on December 17th 2009, after 74 and a half years of life to the full – and he went out with a bang. More on that later. But for now, here’s a few things that my dad possessed, that I noticed that the FATHER has, and that I now as a father and a follower of Christ hope to attain.
Dad was always around, and always on time.
What’s pretty shoddy on my part is that I have no excuse for being late. My dad embodied promptness. Always around 20 minutes early to pick my sister and I up from school. Never missed a game, never missed a piano recital. He prioritized his family. Our love tanks were filled to overflowing with love from Dad.
Dad was an artist.
My dad loved good classic movies – his favourite actors ran the gamut: Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Fred Astaire and his favourite, the swordsman Errol Flynn. We shared the same favourite musical in our house between my dad, my sister and myself: West Side Story (my mum was more of a Sound of Music person).My dad could outdance ballroom and outsing me to shame. His tenor was one of such a natural purity that it would pierce through the frequency quagmire that it often found itself entangled in when in choirs, particularly Samoan church ones (kidding – but really!). That’s probably why I got into rapping – he was too good.
My dad had a great sense of humour.
My dad is one of the funniest guys I have ever encountered in my life. Any humour that I can claim, whether good or dry, comes from my dads uncanny ability to see relief in any situation by tapping into the comedy of it – often with a nip of cynicism. I loved it, how he would imitate and reenact moments of hilarity.
My daughter Naz has inherited his open-mouthed smile
He was more of a fan of humour of a British variety, and didn’t fancy any of the post-Cosby prime time US sitcoms of the 80’s and 90’s. When they would come on, he’d turn to good old Channel 1. If you need to know the difference between NZ Channel 1 and Channel 2/3 humour, ask a kiwi. My dad was a Channel 1 guy – except when the long running British soap Coronation Street came on, he’d ask me “how did any of these people get on TV?”.
My dad had convictions.
No, not convictions of a criminal kind. But convictions that would cause him to be steadfast in his views of truth. I don’t know too much about my dad’s life before he had his life transformed by an experience with God, he spent the remainder of his life from that point of transformation, living out what he considered God’s plan was for his life – and to the extreme. Never a day was there that he wasn’t writing in his journal and reading his good old black and red Samoan bible in conjunction with his tattered Good News Bible, and not because he had to, but because he loved the God who had transformed his life.
My dad on his deathbed spent his final hours praying for different groups of visiting people to fulfill their God given destinies, speaking about standing firm in your faith in God. This indeed was the embodiment of his life in general – living fully out for others. He spent his life completely, that others would see their lives transformed by God – including mine. A life well spent…
I stand on the shoulders of this giant of faith, and I can’t wait to see him again.
Happy Birthday Dad – We love you so much! The world is not the same without you, but it will never be the same because of you.
(My sons middle name is Nelson because he is the son, not of me Neli, but of my dad, Neli…)
Alofaaga, your son Neli.