I Am My Father's Son
Just to commemorate the old man, I am putting up this poem I wrote about him a few years back on his birthday. Maybe celebrating my thirty-second birthday is making me nostalgic or maybe its just the weather.
It could have been any other man. But you chose to be mine. She could have been any other woman. But you picked her. For many years I only knew you according to them. They created man they thought I wanted as a father. Some tried to create a man I would never call my father.
They told me about your accomplishments. They told me about your brilliance. They told me about the power of your written words. Some talked to me about your failures. Some told me things they hoped would drive you away. Some called you names they felt were justified.
I was told I resembled you in every way. I was told I spoke the same way you did. I was told I wrote the same way you did. They called you a caring educator. They called you a great leader. They called you a passionate philanthropist.
They said I reminded them of you. They said I shared your passions in life. They said they wished I could be half the man you were. Some said I was the result of all your mistakes. Some said I was going to end up just repeating your mistakes. Some said you could have been so much more.
I spent years trying not to be like you. I spent years creating my own writing style. I spent years developing my own passions. I was not an educator, I just taught for fun. I was not a philanthropist; I just think we should help others. I was not a leader; people were just too foolish to follow me.
They created a man they thought I wanted as a father. Some tried to create a man I would never call my father. I met a man who was better than both. I met a man who was flawed because he loved his fellow man. I met a man I hoped I was kind enough to call his son.
A man willing to give all he had to help others. A man who left a positive mark in people's lives. A man whom despite all the negatives loved his son so much. I was proud I shared your passion for writing. I was pleased I shared your passion for helping others. I was satisfied I shared your enthusiasm for leading others.
I learnt so many lessons from you. I learnt so much about myself from you. I learnt so much about them from you. You would observe how I interacted with people and smiled. You would ask me what I thought about specific topics and smiled. You would watch how the room reacted to my presence and smiled.
I now know why you were smiling. I now understand why you asked all those questions. I now see why you never denied what they said about you. Because in me trying not be like you, I became you. Because in me trying to despise you, I loved you. Because in me choosing my path, I followed you.
I am my father's son. I have lived his life. I have been him. They called us brilliant. They called us failures. They called us whatever suited them at the time.
I am my father's son and proudly so. I am proud I remind them of you. I am proud of the legacy you left. I vow to continue our path. I promise to not be affected by their words. I swear to surpass you in everything you did because that is the only way I can do your gift justice.
I am my father's son and today is his birthday. Happy Birthday, Daddy.