A Brief Reflection on Fatherhood. Engr. Wole Arifajogun Jasper

A Brief Reflection on Fatherhood

I was just a tender 5-year-old when I bore witness to the heart-wrenching loss of my beloved father. The memory etched in my mind is that of his passing, with his life slipping away right before my eyes. For years, I carried the weight of guilt, convinced that my feeble hands were somehow responsible for his departure. At such a young age, the concept of losing a father was beyond my comprehension. How could a mere 5-year-old fathom such profound grief?

Even during the brief years, I had the privilege of having a father, there are two valuable lessons he imparted that remain vivid in my memory:

  1. Always fasten the buttons of your shirt starting from the last button. Why? To minimize the chances of buttoning your shirt wrongly.
  2. Tuck your shirt into your pants, not your trousers. Why? To keep it neatly in place, preventing it from flapping about.

Though I may no longer adhere to these particular pieces of advice, they served as a tremendous help during my childhood. I often ponder the myriad of other lessons I could have learned from him had he been granted more time. Nonetheless, the loss of my father, as I would come to realize in my journey to adulthood, dramatically altered the trajectory of my life, albeit in ways that were far from comfortable. Nevertheless, I am forever grateful for the experiences that followed.

Despite the physical absence of my father, his impact seemed to reverberate through the lives of countless others, creating a ripple effect of his essence. Each time I encounter someone acquainted with my father, an abundance of stories unfold, and without fail, they conclude with the statement, “Your father was a truly remarkable man.”

Whether he extended a helping hand, guided someone towards a decision, brought laughter, offered sage advice, or taught others the intricacies of physics or mathematics, his influence persisted. Some of those he had touched deeply became the very individuals who stepped forward to care for his children once he was no longer with us.

Each story I heard about my father became a valuable lesson, an enduring legacy, and they all coalesced into a single resounding truth: Kindness costs us nothing. To a significant extent, I have patterned my life after this invaluable lesson.

Yes, my father may no longer be physically present, but to this day, tales of his compassion and assistance surface regularly. I am eternally grateful for these anecdotes, as they reinforce the understanding that when we depart from this earthly realm, the only thing that truly matters is how we treated our fellow human beings.

Now I comprehend why people emphasize the significance of a good reputation over material wealth. My siblings and I were able to complete our secondary education and pursue university degrees because of the benevolent souls whom my father inspired. They embraced the responsibility of ensuring that we did not endure unnecessary hardships. They provided us with clothing, nourishment, shelter, and the opportunity to pursue knowledge.

Do you know what it means to have a remarkable father? It means that even in his absence, the spirit of fatherhood endures. It means that even in his absence, his influence lives on.

Today, on Father’s Day, I offer this heartfelt tribute to my late dad, Engr. Wole Arifajogun, Jasper for being the best dad in the whole world. Additionally, I extend my gratitude to all those, both men and women, who have shown immense care for me, my siblings, and my mother. Thank you very much.

Happy Father’s Day

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