This is to you Paapa…
I don’t think you’ll ever know how much I miss you!
You don’t know what all the belief you had in me did.
There’s no way I can forget that without you I would have given up.
You made me hope for so much more. You made me dream.
So why can’t you hope too?
Why can’t you see that it’s killing you and you need to stop?
It’s killing you, and it’s killing Mama!
You taught me so much virtue, it’s funny how things can turn around in such a short time.
You helped believe things and deliberately think things that changed my mindset
And it’s brought me here today.
You shaped me into the woman I am.
But sadly, you’re not here.
You’re not here to see that I made it.
Sometimes, I wish it was death that had taken you.
I actually wish that this ‘tribute’ was to mourn you.
But no, you’re here… Here, yet so far away.
A completely different person.
What changed you?
Nobody died, you didn’t lose your job, nothing extraordinary happened.
It seems this habit evaporated into being.
How did we not notice soon enough? Why didn’t you ask for help?
When am I going to be able to come home and ask you to hold my baby girl?
When can the kids come and see a sober grandpa?
Remember that time when you were teaching us to ride a bike?
Remember when you took the trainer wheels off and asked us to ‘flyyyy!!!!’
Remember when we took swimming lessons and you’d always sit at the edge of the pool and tell us: “We people from the forest, we can’t swim… we can only make sure our kids can”
Paapa why can’t we go back to those days? Why can’t I tell my kids the kind of father you were and not have such a hard time making them believe me?
Paapa, if for nothing at all, Mama is tired. She’s sick and tired of cleaning up your vomit, she’s sick of all your apologies on the few occasions when you’re sober enough to offer them. She’s endured so much Papa. She pretends that everything is okay, but we all see the wrinkles she’s developed. We see that she has frown lines in the places where there were lines of laughter. We see that she’s not the strong, happy person she was when we were growing up.
Sometimes, we even hear her cry!
You took so long to build so much, why are you destroying it all with just a couple of years?
Paapa, I pray for you every day. Just like you taught me to. I pray expecting a miracle. Because I want my kids to know the kind of father I had. I want you as an example of one of the people they should strive to be like in the future, not one of the people they should never be.
I hate that I cannot have a normal conversation with you…. Just slurs and words I can hardly make out. I hate that you can’t hear about any of my big cases…
Nana and Akwesi seem to have given up on you. They don’t understand why I still bother.
“It’s been over five years, Yaa… you need to let it go, Paapa will be gone soon anyway!”
I don’t blame them Paapa.
I can’t blame them.
Yet I need you back.
The next time I win a big case, I want to be able to drive straight to you and give you one of those hugs that made everyone wonder what was wrong with us. I want to hear one of your long talks about the things I should focus on.
I’m going to return you to the rehab place, and this time, Paapa, you’re not coming back if you’re not sober! I’ll come with you if I have to. I need you to not give up Paapa. I need you to somehow get through with it and come back home to us all. Come back home to Mama, she needs her man back!
I miss you Paapa. It’s been five long years, and I want to kiss your cheeks without wanting to retch.
We want you back Papa, please come back!