Happy 70th Birthday Daddy!!!!
Yep! 70!! *shrug* what can I say, the women in my family like older men.
So it’s daddy’s birthday and although he probably have no clue what a website is, I’m still going to dedicate this blog to him.
I’m a complete daddy’s girl! I mean completely…well as complete as a Caribbean girl can be. I have so many fond memories of my daddy. I actually have no bad memories of him. Even the first and only time he beat me was good. I and everyone else around who witnessed it, laughed at him! Like seriously? Daddy what are you doing? Are you really beating me? These are baby slaps compared to mom dukes’. But ya, lots of fond memories. He used to be a construction worker (built the house I was last in before I migrated here) but I’m not sure how he left from doing that to driving taxis as a living. *scratching head* Ya that’s a big difference, maybe I should ask mumsie about that. Anyway I love my daddy (now now, if your reading this mumsie, don’t get jealous. I love you too, but today is his day).
I remember he would come home bone tired (he starts work before dawn) and sit in the chair and I would climb onto his leg and pretend it was a pony. Boy would I be galloping away!...until my mom would yell to not break her chair. I would yap all about my day and the ‘adventures’ I had and he would listen and nod…and fall asleep. It never upset me that he would fall asleep. Somewhere in my young brain I understood. I was just happy for the attention I got before he dozed off.
He’s a half Indian so he has ‘pretty hair’ as we Jamaicans would say. I remember I would climb in his lap and after one of my spiels about my day and he would fall asleep, I would slowly climb out his lap, head to my room and grab my clip pan (container of hair accessories) and I would ‘style’ his hair. I would put bubbles in his hair then twist it and put clips at the end. Ahhh man it was THE moossstt hilarious thing when he would wake up. The whole house would have a belly laugh…and he would laugh right with us once he got to the closest mirror. To top it off, he would leave them in til he’s ready for his shower. I love that about him. Very easy going man. Very patient man. He showed me lots of love.
Man, I remember my daddy would honk the horn from the top of the hill and I would just know it’s him. I would run outside and look up and sure enough, it’s him! I would race up the lane and he would open his door and into his lap I would climb. It was driving time!! So I would be in his lap right, check ma mirrors and signal (by sticking my arm out the window lol) to the other vehicles that we’ll be pulling into traffic. He would drive so slow so I could get the maximum time ‘driving.’ It was a red and white VW van, I don’t know if yall remember those. So you know the wheel is big. I would be there turning the steering wheel and saying vroooomm vroom vrroooooommmmmmmmmm as if the engine wasn’t making its own noise. I had no qualms honking the horn at the stubborn chickens and goats that refused to move out the way as I made my way down the lane to our house. This was a stick shift but it was all automatic for me. My job was to steer the wheel while daddy’o controlled the three pedals and handled the gear shift. But guess what? NO ONE couldn’t tell me I wasn’t driving. Nope! No one! LOL! That was our thing. Then people would ask: little Miss D (they called my dad Mr.D) a you dat a drive? And I would beam proudly and honk the horn in acknowledgement. *sigh* *smile* Memories, I tell ya. Memories. Then I remember when he came home in a yellow buggie! O.M.G! I heard a car pulling in beside the house but I didn’t recognize the engine so I figured it was someone visiting someone else. Then he yelled my name and I went running. There she was. A sweet canary yellow buggie. I was squealing!!! He asked me if I wanted to take it for a spin and did I! I was always tall for my age so with the buggie I was guaranteed to reach the pedals and I did! That begun my first real driving lessons. I learned to drive a stick at eight years old! Yeah baby, yeah. Love my daddy.
If you ask my father what month is my birthday he probably couldn’t tell you. I’m 99.99% sure he doesn’t know. Sounds bad, but it’s true. We couldn’t afford parties or anything like that. My first birthday cake was at the age of 22. So he went with the flow of my mom. I know now that he never forgot because of her. It never bothered me. His own birthday didn’t stick in his head until I moved here. I always, always always call him on his birthday. I’m a birthday person. It’s such a very special day and to me, receiving a phone call or a text is worth more than a gift because it means the person remembered you. That person had you in their thoughts. A gift is just a super bonus! So I always call him on his birthday. One year I was out with friends at BBQ’s having a blast and it was like 11:45p and I don’t remember what was said and I was like oh sh**t! I grabbed my phone and dialed him straight. The convo went like this:
Me: Hey dadddyyyyyyyyyyy Happy birthday!
Dad: Ahh Dunn dunn (don’t you dare laugh! That’s his pet name for me *beaming*J ), sweet girl, tank u mon tank u.
Me: Awwww Happy birthday daddy
Dad: And u kno seh mi tink seh u di forget me? Mi nuh memba mi birthday too tough but summin seh dat today a mi birthday. But if today a mi birthday den Shan must call mi from mawnin! *his voice started to quiver here* And mi watch di time all day long and mi seh no ‘mon it cyah be mi birthday. Shan, you kno seh you a di only one of mi pickney (children) dat call mi pon mi birthday? *and he started crying*
Folks my heart just broke. Nine children and only one calls you? NINE! I’m the fourth child so he has children that are in their 50s. Listen my dad have nine children but he supported/supports every single one of them. It grieved my heart hearing that none of his children calls him on his birthday and one of them even got married on his birthday! Anyway, after crying along with him I made sure to write his birthday down. I never had to before but I just can’t risk forgetting.
I wish there were so many things I could for him. Last year I saved $650 and bought him a pair of glasses. I remembered on my 2010 trip how everyone was blowing him off the road and I was scared for my life. He would stick his hands out motioning and yelling: ‘go round mon go round.’ With fear in my throat I calmly asked him if he could see. He laughed nervously and said ‘no mon. Not too well sweet girl.’ WHAT?! SERIOUSLY! I think it’s the most I prayed per second. I was determined to save and get him a pair of glasses. I estimated it would be $300 USD. I saved up $650 for the entire trip. Ya so his glasses cost me $650, $550 was due that day and the remainder when it was time for pick up. To not be broke for my entire trip my mom chipped in $100 so I had $100 to last me seven days. Ummm I don’t know if you know this but $100 USD canNOT last you a day down there. Day and a half tops! That’s lunch and transportation money. His eyes were so bad folks that they had to send for it to be made outside of Jamaica. It took a month for it to be ready. He needed special lenses and of course I wanted to make sure he had all the perks like I do. I made sure his lenses were transition and that it had nighttime antiglare because he works well into the night. I thank the Lord every single day I don’t get a phone call that his breathing has stopped. How this man been doing it is beyond me. It didn’t matter that I was broke, I was just happy that I could do something for him. I mean my school fees were always paid up, I had all my text books, and had my school uniforms. Whatever my mum said was needed he provided so I was happy to do for him.
Anyway I loooveeeeeee my daddy. I shall be sending him some pocket change (can’t afford much right now) then call him and wish him a happy 70th and to pick up his money. I’m still beaming at all the memories. I have so much more but don’t want to go on and on.
Maybe call your pops (or whomever is a father figure to you) or give him a random hug or whatever. In honor of my daddy’s 70th birthday show your daddy some extra love today :-)