"Jermaine is, to me, the kind of man my father is to my mother. I totally love that about him" - Newly wed bride.
The first time I heard about Antonina L. Griffin, (pictured above), it was on Facebook a couple of months ago after I stumbled on her now viral and totally inspiring video catalouging the nearly unbelievable story of her life struggles and how through it all she finally found a new purpose in life through God.
I was moved, because you know, I am a sucker for the inspirational. But Antonina's video did more than just inspire me, it spoke to me. It spoke to the little girl in me that still misses her father, to the teenager in me that wished he was there when I was having my first boy/girl chats, to the lady in me that looked around for him and yearned for his fatherly advise while I struggled with University and defining my career path, to the bride-to-be in me who longed for his support as I prepared to embark on the journey of a lifetime, to the wife in me who needed that fatherly touch and re-assurance on those days when I felt down, to the woman in me who wished he had a relationship with my husband just for my sake....Because you see, I WAS a Daddy's girl. I was his first daughter and an exact replica of him, or so people would say. We went everywhere together and he taught me so much in my first few years of life, some of which I still hold dear. He sang to me every opportunity he got, and called me his Queen. He would not accept anything short of excellence in my studies and pushed me to achieve the very best in my early education. HE was the reader, ever reading, ever studying and he passed on that habit to me at a very early age, a habit I can't even shake now in my adult years. He was my father, until one day, when I was 9 years old, divorce reared it's ugly head and took away all that we had, leaving me without a father. No, he did not die. He simply disappeared.
To you, dear father who is secretly planning to walk away from his marriage, please don't. For the sake of your kids. Especially your daughters. Not that your sons need you any less, but please stay and learn to love your wife and keep your family together for the sake of your children. If your wife won't do it, you be the bigger person and hold that marriage together. In time she will come around and thank you for it. Children especially girls, replicate their fathers in their husbands or the men they chose to date so please save them a lifetime of heartache and struggle by being a loving father. You can be strict all you want or a great disciplinarian, but ensure your children never have to second-guess your love for them. A fathers void is one that takes only the grace of God to fill and the life path of our children will be so much more easier to walk in with the strong hands of an able, loving dad.
In honour of Father's Day, I post the article below written by Antonina. It is a tribute to every girl out there who grew up without a father. My thoughts are with you. To all the wonderful fathers out there, heres to you all. And to the 3 Daddies in my life; my father, who despite all I still hold dear; my husband who in all ways has been my mini dad and held my hand through some of the most difficult times, and God the Author and Finisher of my faith, who without Him, I would be long gone, I say thank you. I wouldn't be where I am today without you xx
ANTONINA L. GRIFFIN - DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL
All I ever wanted was to be Daddy’s Little Girl. But I never carried that title because my Daddy was not a part of my life. Or was he? What impact did growing up without a father have on my life? Has growing up without my daddy hurt me? The reality is, I don’t know. I sit and wonder what life would be like if my daddy was a part of it. I’ve always known that I was DIFFERENT. I knew life was DIFFICULT, but was it because I didn’t have my DADDY or was it all a part of my DADDY’s (GOD) Plan?Reginald Miller is his name. Reginald Miller is the man that had sex with my Mom when she was 18 years old, and I was the result of that moment of passion. I wasn’t planned so I was what they called an “Oops” child. I don’t know if my Daddy was there during my birth, but I do know he was not there during my life. My Mom died when I was nine years old and my Daddy was not there during any part of that process. I recall meeting him when I was about eleven or twelve years old. I don’t recall spending much time with him. Why wouldn’t a father love his child? Or shall I say why didn’t my Daddy love me?
I had dreams of Reggie taking me to the park. I had dreams of me laying in his arms. I had dreams about him laughing and playing with me. I dreamt about him wiping my tears away when I was sad. But it was just that, a DREAM. I often wondered about if he was in my life would I have gotten molested. If my Daddy was there for his precious daughter, would I have been so promiscuous. If he was there, would I have gotten raped or would I have been in that abusive relationship. The answer is probably or probably not. I hated my Daddy and I blamed him for everything that went wrong in my life. I thought, “What was so wrong with me that he didn’t come and see about me?” I hated him with a passion. I remember looking out the window with tears in my eyes, waiting on him to come to see about me, only to be disappointed time and time again. My heart yearned for his love, and it never ever received it.
I remember one day I was on the block in the Grove. Now, my Grandmother died in 1994 ok. Well the year is now 1999. I’m on the block enjoying myself, and this Reggie dude walks up to me and asked me how I was doing. I told him that I was fine. He then asked how my Grandmother was doing. Yes, my Daddy asked me how my Grandmother was doing, and my Grandmother had been dead for a little over five years at that time. It took everything in me not to smack him in his face. I said to him “You’re pathetic. My Grandmother is dead.” He then apologized, and proceeded to ask me what I’m doing on the block. My response was “I’m grown, and I don’t have to answer to you.” He said I needed to respect him. By now, I’m extremely pissed, and I told him, “I would spit in your face, but you’re not worth my saliva.” I hated him because I blamed him. After that, I didn’t see that man again until about 2008.
How in the world am I Daddy’s little girl when my Daddy was never there? I found out that my heavenly father was there with me all the time. He never left me nor did he forsake me. The closer I became to my DADDY, the more I discovered who I was. I am a true Daddy’s Girl. The things that happened to me were not my biological father’s fault. God’s purpose for my life was the reason I had to go through it.
I had a pity party one day, and I was crying to God saying I didn’t ask to be born. I didn’t choose to be raped and molested. After all I’ve been through, you could have at least let me keep my Momma or allowed my Daddy to be in my life. I just don’t understand WHY. WHY did I have to be a Motherless and Fatherless child? God answered me and said “If your parents were in your life they would have messed up my plans for your life. I only needed your Mom and Dad to bring you into this world so that you could fulfill my plans.” (Jeremiah 29:11) For I know the plans that I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. It was in that moment that it clicked. I got it. In other words I had to endure all of the heartache and pain so I could fulfill God’s plans for me here on earth. I was PURPOSED for This! Yeah that’s it I was PURPOSED for This!
Now that I know God’s plan, I must now forgive Reggie. I can’t hold on to unforgiveness and walk effectively in my purpose. Was forgiving him an easy process? Absolutely not. The little girl in me wanted to feel my Daddy’s touch. So the Lady in me held on to the grudge, but the woman that I was becoming had to let it go. I wasn’t going to allow what I couldn’t change to continue to make me bitter. I wanted to be loved and I was DETERMINED to be loved right, and I DESERVED to be loved. No the world doesn’t owe and didn’t owe me anything, but I owed it to myself to allow love to flow through my heart.
The year now is 2013 and Reggie is still not a part of my life, neither is he a part of my children’s lives. But one thing has never changed, and that’s the fact that I’m still DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL! My Daddy loved me when I didn’t love myself. He has always answered me when I called. When I look out the window with tears in my eyes, I can count on him wiping my tears away. He approved of the man that I married and he was at the altar with me proudly giving me away. He supplies my every need and my wants. He actually gives me the desires of my heart. Although he says he doesn’t have a respecter person, I still believe I’m his favorite. He wraps me in his arms and whispers things to me like you’re the head and not the tail, you’re a leader and not a follower, you’re beautiful just the way you are. He pushes me when I want to give up. And he always fight my battles. I’m talking about my DADDY y’all, the KING of kings and the LORD of lords. He’s my EVERYTHING, and I can’t imagine my life without him. Lord I Love You, and thanks for being the best DADDY ever.
Your Little Girl