The Lord says, “When you look back in the sand and see only one set of footprints, it means those were the times that I carried you.”
For a long time, I assumed this was the same with my father. When I looked back in the sands of my growth and saw only one set of footprints, I assumed he was carrying me, but as I got older, I realized that this was a lie we tell to comfort ourselves.
I had lied to myself.
My father hadn’t carried me for many years. At some point I had become too big to fit into his arms, and instead of getting stronger to support me, he abandoned me.
Look at it in this way. A father is essentially a cocoon. They are expected to protect you, nurture you, and cradle you, until one day you are ready to blossom into a butterfly, free to fly with your own wings.
On Saturday, September 26th, that was supposed to be the day where my father would allow me to spread my wings. It was supposed to be the day where my father would walk me down the aisle. Yet, somewhere along the lines he had broken the cocoon early and although I still managed to grow wings, he wasn’t there to lead me down the runway of the aisle, where I would take flight into a new sky.
What do you do, if you walk alone?
This is an issue that plagues some brides today and no matter how strong of a woman I am; I was no exception to this.
Coming from a family of seven, ever since I remember, my mum has been the one to struggle to raise all of us. This is something you learn to accept and not mind so much. It only becomes an issue at critical junctions on the turnpike of life, like parents’ evening, the occasional father’s day, or when your fiancé wants to ask permission for your hand in marriage, and then ultimately when you take the steps down the aisle into your new life.
I tried not to let this affect my life and started to even believe this was the norm, so much so, that till this day me and my father still speak. I have no hate or malice towards him. I can’t. I don’t allow myself to, simply because I want to move on so I chose forgiveness. It is not easy, but it is possible.
Yet, when faced with one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make, I found myself looking back at the footprints in the sand, and wondering if I could shrug off those moments in life when I had crawled across the shoreline on my hands and knees, hoping my father would be my lifeboat. I couldn’t.
I had to decide whom I would I let walk me down the aisle for my wedding. Deep, deep, deep down I wanted my mother, it was only right because she’s a huge part of my being. But deep, deep down (above the former layer) I believed I wanted my father. I mean, which young girl hadn’t dreamed of this fairy tale ending, where a father would walk her down the aisle?
The night before my wedding, after all these years of managing to keep myself steady, I was finally broken, that was when the tide came in and the waves came crashing down on me. The tide comes in many forms; sometimes it is that of a text from a lover telling you it’s over or sometimes it’s a chance meeting with the an old friend, who tells you their parents have passed away.
My tide came in the form of a phone call.
The last name I expected to appear on my phone screen the night before my wedding was ‘Dad’. Little did I know, that this phone call would send me toppling into the ocean. My father called me to say he wouldn’t be attending the wedding.
The NIGHT BEFORE!
When he said that, I didn’t think it was supposed to hurt as much as it did. Why would it, I had managed so many of these years without him. But it did. Inside I was crying. I am only human. I am still Daddy’s little girl; I am still his “little Princess”.
In hindsight however, I think, no, I know it was for the best.
Your wedding day is supposed to one of the happiest moments in your life. For me it was. It’s a day I will never forget. We invited the people whom we wanted to be there and we did things our way, which in today’s society is extremely difficult.
It wouldn’t have been right for my father to walk me down the aisle no matter what society dictates as the norm. My mother took care of me and has contributed words of wisdom to the woman I have become.
I would have rather walked down the aisle by myself than let my father who has no idea how I survived, walk me.
From research it is clear that the men of old took care of their family so they deserved it, hence the tradition. But my opinion is that if women are stepping up to the plate nowadays and doing a man’s job of taking care of the family they should definitely see it as their right to give their daughters away.
The privilege belongs to the one who has been responsible for your upkeep; it is as simple as that.
Linda Ayoola achieved almost everything that was supposed to make her happy. Everything that they taught us to go after. And yet with all that stuff, she wasn’t satisfied with her life. She wasn’t happy. So, Linda left her highly paid corporate job to discover herself and give importance to the things that actually mattered to her. She is now on a journey to happiness, which she encourages all to embark on this journey with her. You can find her on Twitter, IG & FB.