My father Dr. Gilbert Olatunji Yeye-Odu, was an uncommon man in his time. A highly disciplined man with integrity, respect for others, an extreme intellectual with an unusual devotion to God, and of course a serious lover boy. My mom and he were like two peas in a pod. I look at their old pictures and wonder where on earth in today’s world I would find a man who has the love and devotion my parents had for each other.
He was a strong disciplinarian who always aimed for us to be our best. He tried to be open-minded about the fact that his kids were very different from him and accepted that we were citizens of our day and age even though we didn’t always agree! If you asked me to describe my dad, I would say he was someone who had the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control.
He instituted a strong moral value system in us, spent quality time with us and ensured we did our homework whether we wanted to or not, especially math and physics (my least favourite subjects). I always told him I didn’t like math but I knew how to make money!
He led by example even though he was never the same after mommy passed on. He ensured that he stayed close to us and kept the family together; he was fiercely loyal. They always challenged us to be the best we could be and gave us unconditional love. They instituted in us the importance of personal sacrifice, even though I hardly told my parents I truly appreciated the values and lessons that have made us the people we are today. Daddy, we love you and we miss you. I know you’re in heaven, walking the streets of gold, smiling down at us!