I’ve made it my business to observe fathers and daughters. And I’ve seen some incredible, beautiful things. Like the little girl who’s not very cute – her teeth are funny, and her hair doesn’t grow right, and she’s got on thick glasses – but her father holds her hand and walks with her like she’s a tiny angel that no one can touch. He gives her the best gift a woman can get in this world: protection. And the little girl learns to trust the man in her life. And all the things that the world expects from women – to be beautiful, to soothe the troubled spirit, heal the sick, care for the dying, send the greeting card, bake the cake – all of those things become the way we pay the father back for protecting us.
My father died three years ago. On that day and the many days that followed I was inundated with messages of condolences and the one thing I knew my family was anticipating. My return home. Everyone assumed I would drop everything and fly out for the funeral. The day he died was the day we had submitted our documents to the Home Office, though it may have been possible to apply for emergency travel documents it was not an option for me because I didn’t think it had worth the delaying everything we had started here to make the journey back home, he was gone and one more body sitting in the front pew was not going to change that.