I'm wiping tears off my face right now.
The last time I shed tears was when my uncle, who was the doctor in charge of my father's treatments, announced to me that he had passed on.
Before then, the last time I remember shedding tears was in 2007, when my dad announced to me that my closest cousin, Ikemefuna Ezeokoye died at a car accident.
So why is tears streaming down my face now?
I was trying to decide if I should grow my dreadlocks again or not, then my thought wandered to what my father thought of it when he was alive.
He didn't like it. But he let me keep it anyway.
When I first started trying to grow the locks, my mum complained incessantly about it, but he always calms her down, while trying to make me see reasons to cut my hair. I didn't give in. In 2012, one Sunday morning, as I was waking, he came and handed me some money and said "go and cut your hair immediately after church today." I did without any hesitation. I knew pressure from my mum had forced him to do it and I didn't want to be the a cause of any issues between them.
So after cutting it, I moved out of home for good and went to grow my dreadlocks elsewhere.
When I had it on, every time we see, he says one or two things about how, as a gentleman I shouldn't be wearing dreadlocks, as it is usually associated with area boys. But he never tries to force me to cut it. When I took the Interswitch job and decided to cut my hair, he expressed his gladness. When I left the job and started growing the hair again, he just let me be.
The next time I had to cut it was when I had look normal, in honour of him, at his funeral.
That was the person he was. He won't force anyone to do something that they didn't want to do, especially once he believes that they have come of age. When we, his kids, were all going into the university, he expressed his deep desire to have a lawyer in his family. But none of us was interested. After saying it a few times he let it slide, but gave us his support nonetheless.
When I told my friend Temitope that my dad had passed on, she said,"You're never going to get over it". She had lost her father a couple of years back, so she knew what she was saying.
Now I wonder how many future decisions would bring back the memory of my father and make me wish he was still alive. I now need to learn to be a man about it and not shed tears like a baby whenever those memories come.
My father usually said: "When you look around and you don't see me anymore, what would I have taught you?"
I've decided that, in honor of my dad's memories, I'd not grow my dreadlocks anymore. I'd miss it and I'm sure my mum would be very happy (as I, and my dad, would like her to be).