He played a major role in shaping who I am as an individual. We had a largely adversarial relationship, my father and I, it was the case of like poles repelling. We were too alike to really stick together but that trait also helped us understand one another at a very basic level.
I have always been extremely inquisitive, argumentative, and tend to live in a world of my own. Needless to say, these traits tend to rub people the wrong way and made me feel disconnected countless times. My father was perhaps the only one, who ever made the effort to understand the world which I inhabited. He was so emphatic about so many things. He also never backed down from an argument; we had arguments and discussions that lasted for days if not weeks and months.It was like playing chess with a grandmaster who gave as good as he got.
How I hated it! It is only now that he is gone that I realise, how much respect he afforded me, his young and odd daughter, who was sooo clearly intellectually inferior to him. Since the day he died, all I can think of is his voice, I keep wishing to hear his footsteps, in fact sometimes I fancy I do, I sometimes get this feeling that I can hear him breathing like he is sitting next to me, I can still smell him some days. What I really miss is just sitting in companionable silence with him. I realise now that I am a feminist not just because of my illustrious mother, but also him. Never once did he ever through word or deed make me feel that I as a girl could not do what boys could, never did he compare me to the boys in the family and make me feel inferior. In fact all I can recall now is his immense encouragement.
He was my greatest advocate and always insisted on me speaking my mind. every time I faltered, he didn't support me like a father should, rather, he egged me on to get back on track on my own. In hindsight he made sure that I was self sufficient and capable enough to make it on my own.
Today is his birthday, the second year that he has been gone, but I will still celebrate it, I will always celebrate my father, his glorious life and the lovely, difficult, magnificent relationship I had the privilege of sharing with him. Happy Birthday my darling Papa, you amazing, stubborn, brilliant man. I hope the cake in heaven tastes as good as the ones I bake!