15 February 2016
An entry in the 2016 Crocodile Prize
Dedicated to my dad, John Uwen Wo’otong
I HAVE lived my life for him through primary school and secondary school and now I am in college.
I always try to do my best so, that at the end of the year when the marks come out and when he sees I’m at the top of the list, it will put a big smile on his face.
And I will be by his side to share that moment.
For nothing can measure the time he spent caring for us, the care and the love he showed even when he was in the abyss, the courage he displayed when faced with difficult situations, the support he provided as a one-man team and his selflessness in the face of trouble.
It was 25 May 2003 when Mum suddenly closed her beautiful eyes without a goodbye and passed away. We were all lost. Mum was the centre of everything and the only thing that kept our household in order.
But now we didn’t know how to go on; we were lost.
After my Mum’s burial, we went home to try to start our lives again. The person we looked to now was Dad. Poor guy. He didn’t have a job and, like most men, had no knowledge of managing a household.
All he had was four children under the age of 16. It was tough for a while. He would pretend to be strong but, as night fell and we all went to sleep, he would sit by the front door and stare into the dark, puffing a thick cigarette and continue to stare for hours.
At the end of that year, my two older brother s graduated from Grade 8 and Grade 10. They did really well and continued on to the next grade. My sister and I also did well. I think it was then Dad realised he had to be both strong and also take care of his children no matter the circumstances. And he did change from there.
As my two brothers moved to boarding school, it was just Dad, elder sister and me at home. He was like no man I ever came across: he cooked, he cleaned, he did the laundry, he was what some people call a FaMy, a FatherMummy. And never a complaint.
Every year was a struggle, but he did his best to clothe us, put food on the table, help with homework and, most of all, he cared for us and let us know everything was going to be all right.
So from 2003 until now, the four of us we were brought up by this man, the most amazing, selfless person in this world, our Dad.
My elder brother and sister have graduated with bachelor’s degrees, I’m in medical school and my other brother is finishing his college education.
Looking back, I realise that if Dad can sacrifice his life for me, I will make him happy in whatever way I can, I’m going to make him the proudest Dad, I’m going to let people know about him and most of all I will love him to eternity.
I would give everything I own to make him happy because nothing can measure how much he is worth. He is my number one man, my superhero.
You raised me up
You pick me up,
when I fall
Told me to stand up tall,
no matter the situation
Telling me quitting school is not an option
But working to your goal is the aim
School was again a struggle
I always try to snuggle with my friends
But they all had two parents
I have only a parent
Life can be cruel sometimes
Again you showed me life is fun
Only if you forget everything and run
Wild and free you can be
Anyone in this world you can become
Always have faith, always trust in yourself
Now I am in med school
I realised that without you I’d be a fool
I will become a doctor in the future
And I thank you for being my good teacher
You are my superhero
A piece that tugs at your heart cords.
Posted by: Hazel Kutkue | 22 February 2016 at 07:42 PM
Dolores, I'm lost for words. I'm sure your mum knows you are in safe hands. Your dad is truly a hero.
Posted by: Peter S Nawara | 20 February 2016 at 10:48 AM
Touching personal story...gripping and powerful.
Posted by: John K Kamasua | 17 February 2016 at 05:14 PM
Thank you for sharing your wonderful story. I am sure your Dad (and your Mom) are proud of you.
Posted by: Joe Herman | 15 February 2016 at 12:23 PM
A wonderful testimony, Dolarose.
Posted by: `Robin Lillicrapp | 15 February 2016 at 06:11 AM