Oh Father Where Art Thou?

Being a teenager is all about dealing with those daddy issues. We've all got some - some just happen to be more major than others. It's Father's Day - and that means it's time to go your ole pops some recognition for keeping you alive, getting you to this point, and helping you along the way. It shouldn't take a nationally recognized holiday to realize the kind of dad you've got. And it shouldn't be only when you need something that you ask oh father where art thou?
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Just noticed that lately that my blog posts have been getting more and more personal. Well that's a good thing, all my posts are personal because it's just me looking back at everything that happens to me and giving advice or telling stories based off of it. It's like an autobiography up in here. Any who, what constitutes a father? That's a big question to ask and there's really no definite answer. To me a father is someone who cares about you, a child, and goes out of their way to take care of you. Father's are people who step up to the plate, defend you at all costs, and love you unconditionally. Father's are people you can go to with your problems, and they listen, understand, and give you advice based on their experienced wisdom. A father is someone who mentors you, helps you out, and teaches you new things about yourself. A father is someone who you feels comfortable around you enough to show parts of themselves. Fathers are people you show affection to. They're you're dads, daddies, papa's, da-da's, pops and all those silly other nicknames you have for them. A father doesn't necessarily mean you share the same DNA. Step-dads, surrogate dads, adoptive-fathers, and father-figures are just as good as genetically similar dad. There doesn't have to be a difference in definition. Single mothers - a special league of strong women who do what they've got to do to get it done (snaps for them). Single fathers, are just as amazing if not more. They've got the household on lock and play ever role necessary for your upbringing (bravo to them). It's the nonexistent dads, the deadbeats, the runners, the abandoners, and the deserters that have their children saying oh father where art thou? A father is a real man because he has the cajones, the courage and strength to take care of his children (to all the dads taking care of kids that aren't necessarily "theirs" but they treat them as their own - the world needs more people like you). He takes responsibility, initiative and action when it comes to his duties as a parent. Oh father where art thou - right where he belongs.



Whenever I think about all the things that my dad has done for me it brings me to the verge of tears and that's the truth. My dad is something different. He's the kind of person that rewrites history, breaks all boundaries, and is the outlying anomaly in every situation. If I ever have time (which means when I find time to write my dad's autobiography - *promise it will be a New York Times Best Seller) to tell you the full story of my dad went from a neglected village boy in Ghana to a full-fledged MD, general practitioner in Ohio you wouldn't even believe it. Me, I haven't even heard the whole story because it takes so long to tell and when my parents start retelling it they get emotional and break down. It's wild to think how far they've come. From meeting in high school, to getting married, having children, attending college, travelling to London, England, escaping immigration, moving to America alone, working as janitors and factory jobs to redoing college, attending medical school in the Dominican Republic, to moving to Ohio for residency, to graduating, working at a state penitentiary to now where my dad works 3 separate jobs for a total of 86 hours per week. That ish cray. It's a true rags to riches story and I'm living it. The immigrants who go through extraordinary circumstances and come out on top, that's my dad and mom's story. All the times my dad has sacrificed for us to be able to live the way we do, to have the things we have, and to have the opportunities we've been given, it's truly selfless. I promise you that you'll never meet anyone like him on this Earth. He's one a kind, unique, and cannot be replaced. There's no one that compares to him. Through all the things he's dealt with like oppression, racism, and all the incidents of people trying to deter him from reaching his goals, and he's made it. Who goes to medical school at the age of 40 with 5 kids - that's unheard of. He's put my eldest brothers through college and now one is an emergency room physician, the other doing his MD/Ph.D and us two middle boys are both in college (out of state) and my sister in high school. It's absolutely unbelievable. I'm so thankful to have him as my daddy. He's awe-inspiring. The compassion he has for other people is so pure and so rare and when you speak to him it's like you've come into contact with something great. After everyone interaction with him you come away somehow changed for the better. Here's a testament to his awesomeness, he works at an urgent care full time and in 14 hour work day he'll see over 100 patients when he's there - when other doctors are there on his days where he's at his other jobs they may see 30 patients (if that). People will call to make sure he's there before they'll even drive to come in. They'll stay at home with broken bones, serious emergencies and ailments until he's back in his office, and that's real. I'm privileged to call Dr. Kwabena Owusu Oteng my father. Oh father where art thou, exactly where he should be, with me.

Seriously, I consider my dad to be pretty much like Bill Cosby's character "Dr. Heath-Cliff Huxtable" in the Cosby Show. Dishing out advice with the heartwarming kind of compassion and subtle humor that just you right there. In fact my family has so many parallels to the Cosby Show it's not even funny - but this paragraph (breaking the 4th wall) is about the best TV dad's of all time. that reminds me, why are all the dads I chose minorities, well because I definitely could relate to their problems a lot more and their characters resonated with me more. Shout out to the Tanners of Full House, Tim "the Toolman" Taylor on Home Improvement , Mr. Sheffield on the Nanny and the Foster-Lambert step family on Step by Step -  but the list goes on. Of course, Dr. Huxtable takes the cake for me. Following up is Uncle Phil from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The man was awesome, he was a judge who lived in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in America. He could take jokes and send them right on back. But he was always there for his kids, especially that powerfully moving episode where Will's father deserts him, again. Next I would say probably comes Michael Kyle from My Wife and Kids - the man brought the funny always and taught his kids way too many lessons. He had flaws and he worked through them. After those three, I'll give a major shout out to Bernie Mac's character on the Bernie Mac Show (R.I.P.) for taking in children that weren't even his own. Flex Washington on One on One (one of my favorite shows), Carl Winslow from Family Matters, and George Lopez from the George Lopez Show. In general TV dads are known from being the punishers but being able to reconcile when necessary. They're usually funny, unless there's drama, and they keep the family together. The wives, always have to wrangle them in too. Oh TV dads, I'm just thinking why current TV dads don't do the same, oh father where art thou?

Being a teenager is all about appreciating what you've been given. No matter you're circumstance you can overcome any obstacle that has been put in your way. That's what parents are for. To help you, protect you, and aid you in whatever way possible. But you've got to seek them out and ask for help - it's not always the case that they'll detect something's wrong. Go on a journey and ask the big question "oh father where art thou?"

My blog post question for the day is ... what's your favorite memory with your dad? I would say all the times he would just ask me to go with him places and go for rides. We would say "wee-ha" on all the hills and just take rides, because we could.

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