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My Dad Believes I’m Waiting To Mourn His Death But I Won’t Even Attend His Funeral

I was eleven when my mom married again—her third marriage. The first was my dad who left my mom due to family pressure. They were married for five years. According to my mom, my father’s mother was a witch and she was the reason their marriage didn’t work....CONTINUE READING

The second husband wasn’t really marriage. My mom moved to the man’s house when the man had not performed any marital rites to my mom’s family. He promised he would but he never did. My mom loved him so she stayed. Three years later, according to my mom, the man told her he hadn’t married her because his family didn’t like the fact that she had a child.

My mom left. Months later, the man married again. The woman he married had two children. The first child had died. The second was with her when the man married her. My mom’s heartbreak. She never stopped whining about it, cursing the man whenever his name came up.

The third marriage was with Mr. Agyeman. The only man I’ll name here because he deserves to have his name written in the history books of my life. This man had two children when he married my mom. They were both boys my age. The day we moved in with him, this man looked into my eyes and said, “I will be your father. I’ll do everything for you just like I do for the boys. Ask me. Tell me what you need. Tell me when you’re worried.”

My real father had been absent from day one. My mom had even forgotten his name but he was alive, getting married and leaving the marriage as if that was what he was created for. He didn’t care about my existence so my mom advised me to learn not to care about his existence. “You don’t have a father, let this stay in your head. All you have is me and I’ll be enough.”

Five years later, when I was going to the SHS, my mom told me she was leaving the marriage. She was divorcing Mr. Agyeman. I screamed, “Again?” She knocked on my head and screamed, “Fiiifin! What do you know? When I cry at night, you snore. When I cry in the daytime, you’re out there playing. Fiiifin! Piiipin! Shut up before I descend on you with rage.”

They indeed had troubles but Mr. Agyeman was a good man. He recognized I was smart in school and did everything for me to succeed. He got me a home teacher. The home teacher taught the boys too but they were always failing in class so he charged me to give them extra lessons which I did with all my heart. The boys understood things easier from me so they always ran to me. We bonded. They called me sister. I called them brothers. We were in a world of our own.

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While we were thriving, Mom’s marriage was crumbling. Her first problem was with the mother of the boys. She was always present, hanging around, using the boys as an excuse to rear her head in the marriage. They fought twice. Mom and the boys’ mother. Mr. Agyeman fought on my mom’s side. The boys’ mother was fierce. She displayed in the compound, causing a scene that embarrassed us the kids. She said, “I’ll come for my kids. Let her make you children if she’s fertile.”

My mom fought back, pointing at me, “That’s evidence of my fertility. I’m not barren and you can’t block God’s plan in my life.”

Mom had three miscarriages. I didn’t know. Miscarriages are like that. You don’t know they are pregnant because the tummy doesn’t announce the pregnancy until the fifth or the sixth month. So you wouldn’t know when miscarriages happen unless they talk about it. Mom never did until the third one happened.

One night, a shrill sound cut through the silence of the night. I woke up. The boys did too. It was Mom crying and screaming, “Not again! Please God not again.” She was rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, she lost it. That night she decided she was done with the marriage. She blamed the mother of the boys for her misfortune. She was scared of dying if she continued to stay. Mr. Agyeman did his best to make her stay. She shook her head; “I don’t want to die. I’ve had enough.”

I selfishly told my mom, “Who’s going to take care of my education when you leave?” She screamed at me, “So I should stay and die? I don’t even trust you. You might be working with the enemy. If you like stay here. I’m gone.”

I was in school when she left the house. Mr. Agyeman visited me in school and told me what had happened. He was broken. It showed in his demeanour. “You’re still my daughter if you’ll allow me to be your father,” he said. I wanted to hug him but I couldn’t. I was shy or I was too respectful.

I didn’t leave him. I stayed with him and the boys so he continued taking care of me. The boys were in different schools but we talked like siblings do. When we were home, we took care of him. We made his bed and made his food. We washed and put ourselves on the floor so he could walk over us. He played with us as if we were his age mate. Love is that man.

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All that while, my mom was outside town. She had entered her fourth marriage and had forgotten about my existence. Once in a year, she called. Once in a while, I called too but soon the calls stopped. She was busy loving the new man. I was busy with school and living life to please the father figure in my life.

I completed SHS and went to the university. My mom didn’t know about it. It was when I was doing my national service that I met her once. I met her. She didn’t come looking for me. She was in town for a funeral when I bumped into her. She danced around me, thanking God that I’d become ewuraba. I was sad. “If I didn’t meet you, you would have come and gone without looking for me?”

“I didn’t know how to see you without coming to that house. The devil doing me is still prowling around. I didn’t want to incite her.”

Convenient excuse but she was happy to see me.

I didn’t see or hear from her again until the man I was with decided to marry me. We came home to see Mr. Agyeman. He asked if my mom was aware. I told him I wanted to marry without telling her. He said, softly and kindly, “That’s not right. She’s your mother. Tell her. Let her decide to be there or not.”

So I went looking for her. I hadn’t seen her in over five years. Guess what, the fourth marriage didn’t work. My biological father’s mom had died, the woman who was the reason their marriage didn’t work. Mom had gone back and was living with my biological dad. “And these two people haven’t bothered to look for me, their only child?”

I was in a hurry to leave the place because I didn’t want to see my biological dad. Mom was happy about the marriage and was happy with how I turned out but was hesitant to mention the name of Mr Agyeman as the man who made me. She said, “Wait for a while. Your dad will come very soon so you tell him yourself.” I got up, picked up my bag and began leaving. “He’s not my father,” I said.”I don’t want him anywhere near my marriage. If that will make you stay away too, please do.”

She rushed to block my exit; “He’s your father, no matter–“

“He’s my fiiifin! My piiipin! Ma, don’t make me regret having you as my mom. You and your husband shouldn’t come to my wedding. I don’t even want you there in the first place.”

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Days later, my mom invited me and my husband to appear before the elders of the family. I didn’t want to go but again, Saint Agyeman pushed me to honour them. I didn’t go with my fiancé. My dad was there with my mom and a few other family heads. The long and short of it all was that I’d been called to give honour to my dad and my mom and make them central in my marriage so they could bless my marriage to bear fruit.

Two people who couldn’t bless their own marriage to bear fruit now have the power to bless another? I was blunt, “My mom can come if she wants to. She’s my mom, I don’t deny that, but I don’t know that man sitting there. His place had been taken long ago when he disappeared.”

On my wedding day, my mom came with my biological father but Mr. Agyeman occupied the seat of my father. He took my hand, walked the aisle and delivered my hand to my husband. He signed as my father. My mom signed as my mother. When the family were called for a photo, my biological father joined. He had a place, a place he gave to himself.

Now he wants to make amends. He calls, I don’t pick. Mom calls me and he takes over the phone; “We are together again because of you, to bring you close and be the parents we weren’t.”

“At this age that I don’t need parents? I’m sorry, I already have a father. I don’t have a place for another. Let it remain like it used to be.”

He has called my husband, complaining, telling him he’s the real dad. He has called everyone he can call. They’ve all called to talk to me. The question I ask them is, “If he becomes my father, what then becomes Mr. Agyeman?” No one has been able to provide sane counterarguments.

He calls for money. He’s sick and needs health care. He calls for pocket money. My mom calls me angrily and tells me not to remove my intestines and replace them with chuff. I tell her, “What’s outside is the chuff. Mr Agyeman is the one who kept me going until I became who I am today. He’s not the chuff. He’s my intestines.”

My mom, I try to help her but I know what I give her, she shares with him. My biological dad, never. He’ll never take anything directly from my hand. The last time he told me, “So you’re waiting for me to die before you come and mourn me?” I answered, “Just die and see. Don’t let us talk about what hasn’t happened yet.”