'I wish I could fix Daddy'
Reset buttons do not work in real-life situations, but many wish - silently and out loud - that they could go back in time and fix things. Maybe it was a genuine mistake they made, or a relationship they messed up, while some just want to make a better life for themselves.
But not Trudy*.
This 23-year-old woman admitted that though there are things in her own life that she would like to change, if destiny gave her one chance to rewind, she would use it on her father's life.
"My father has one of the most brilliant minds I know, but he wasted his life smoking cigars and sniffing coke. I remember, when my mother told me about his nasty habits how upset I was with everyone except him. Now I'm angry and sorry for him at the same time," she said.
Trudy told Family and Religion that the revelation was crippling and still remains a burden in her life.
"He's almost 60 and has achieved nothing but a good name in the streets. He was one of the privileged ones who were afforded a good high-school and university education. His name still lingers in the department of his discipline at the university he attended because of how smart and outspoken he was.
"People in my community speak highly of him, but almost all of their comments always end with 'but yuh fada mash up him life', and the raw truth of it hurts," she shared.
Trudy recalled a time when she was much younger and living with him, her younger sister and her mother.
"We were the ideal family. I was about three and my sister had just been born.
"In his earlier years, he had a great job, which made him good money, but all that disappeared quickly and the coke reduced him to a lonely man who looks almost 20 years older than his actual age," she lamented.
Trudy revealed that she was one of five daughters whose mothers (three separate women) had to fend for them on their own.
"Mommy told me that it wasn't always like that. He was responsible and dependable, but he changed when he started taking the coke.
"None of my sisters was benefiting from him as a father. He didn't attend either of our graduations, even though he lived nearby.
"When I went to tell him I was valedictorian, he was very happy. He promised to come support me. He even helped me to write and practise my speech, but on the day, he was a no-show.
"My sisters and I are earning now, but not enough to finance him. We have loans to repay, our mothers to care for, and our own lives to set straight so that our children - though we have none yet - will not have to endure the hardships we did," she shared.
Trudy told Family and Religion that her father recently revealed to her that he has cancer.
"When he first told me, I didn't believe it because he's known to always be joking, but later, I realised that he was truly not well.
"I would love to help Daddy, but all I can do now is keep his company when I can and make sure that he receives a text or call on his birthdays and Father's Day," she said, adding that her sisters sometimes refuse to do so.
According to her: "Truth is, I love him with everything within me. Whenever I am passing by him, I would stop by for a chat or so, and, if I have money, would buy something and we chat, laugh and have lunch together.
"The way he thinks amazes me still, so I'd ask him for feedback and advice on work-related issues and he would help me. I pray for him more than I pray for myself.
"I love him. I just wish I could go back and fix him."