I’ve been thinking about daddies and daughters a lot lately; well, that’s to say, I’ve been thinking about my own father a lot lately. My father died in 1990, and I’ve lived long enough now that he’s been gone from my life almost as long as he was in my life. I was just shy of 30 years old when my father died, but was married and had been out in the world on my own for a number of years. At the time, I considered myself a grown woman, but looking back, I realize how much I could’ve benefited from his wise counsel during my 30’s, 40’s and now 50’s; particularly about relationships with men.
I found out years after my father died that he had certain opinions about some of the choices I made regarding my relationship at the time. I had no idea because he never told me. While I won’t go into what those opinions were, let’s just say had he voiced his opinions at the time, I probably would’ve still done my thing, but his words ringing in my ears would’ve made me more aware of what I was dealing with. Like much in life, though, we have to learn some of the really hard lessons on our own – by living through them. Oh, and by the way, turns out his opinions about the situation were correct.
That’s not to say that Daddy never advised, he did. He didn’t say much; so if you asked his opinion, he’d get right to the point with a few short words – and that was that! And that was all I needed. I valued his opinion, even more so as I’ve lived; so many things he tried to teach me that I was too hardheaded to listen to at the time are now “aha” moments.
For those women whose daddies were “good” men (and this means something different to everyone) – I’m sure at some point while out there dating or looking for a husband, you compared your prospects to your dad. Oh, to find a man who possesses the same great attributes as your father! I didn’t realize right away that I probably should’ve been looking for a man like my father and the men who were part of my village. After being married twice, divorced twice, I now realize all men are not the same and that there are good men out there like our old school daddies. Most importantly, I’ve learned that whatever happened in my marriages that wasn’t what I wanted – isn’t what I should be focusing on right now. The more I dwell on the past, the more I am blocking the blessing of the right man finding me and vice versa.
I am looking for a man like my father. Therefore, rather than focus on what happened with any other man, my focus should be about who my father was. The man who took care of his family, treated my mother like the Queen she was, protected us, knew and loved God, was a leader, made decisions that involved the family and not just him, worked hard but spent genuine quality time with us when he was able and was funny, kind and loving.
I am by no means into checking off a long and rigid laundry list of standards for a man. I have no misconceptions about marriage, I know marriages and relationships are hard work. I know being in love with someone is no happily-ever-after fairy tale kind of thing. But, you know what? Because of what I know and the fact that I’m already single and on my own, I don’t have a problem taking the time to look for – and wait for – this man I’m talking about who is out there for me. And with what I now can see clearly about my father through my grown woman eyes, I will already know the answer he would have for me when I ask, “Hey Daddy, is he the one?”