When I was younger, my mother was always my Valentine. She would send me a single rose on valentines day when I was in boarding school. This year, as valentines day approached, I thought to myself, who shall be my valentine? Who did I want to share the special day of love with this year? I was at work last valentines day; I will be at church today. But this year I have chosen my Valentine for more reasons than one, I do not have a conventional Valentine. Mum, you’ll always be my valentine, but Dad wins this year.

I have not had many opportunities to show my dad how much his fatherhood meant to me as a child. As a young female, I have identity and independence because of the way he allowed me to be raised. People will say that I am too independent, too strong willed, too stubborn. All of this may be true, but I can stand my own in the world, and that is because of my parents. I remember my dad teaching me how to make groundnut candy when I was a child; I remember reading out my stories to him as he would raise a hearty laugh when I tried to be funny. I recall with a mixture of pain and fondness him teaching me chemistry. Pain because I hated the subject, fondness because he showed me there was nothing in it to fear. It was there that I learnt diligence.

‘Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. Proverbs 22:29’

I was that child that saw her father study with an aim to improve the quality of his mind. I saw him always willing to learn from those who had gathered knowledge. I saw him go on his knees and search for God’s face. I saw him open his Bible night and day thirsting for God. I saw him serve in God’s temple and be a kingdom builder. It was there I learnt the importance of service and giving.

This Valentine’s day has come and gone like many in my life. I have a dozen red roses that I purchased for myself. I have a joy in my life that cannot be bought. I have a self-worth that was given to me in childhood; because of that, I do not look to the world or any man to define me.  I am totally that girl, not searching for the wrong things in the wrong places.

So I want to thank God for my parents and acknowledge my father for raising me to be a secure young woman, not afraid of success, diligence, or singleness.

 The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature -Abbe Prevost

P.S: Remember Valentines day is a day of love, not just romantic love. Reach out to those who are important to you and let them know that you care! And don’t forget to show yourself some love too.

Until next time! Dami loves Valentines day.