Name: Khadijah Butler City: Philadelphia, PA | @cdbscholarship
Dad’s Name: Craig D. Butler
Describe your relationship with your Father and how did that impact you?
My father was my first unconditional and influential love. He was my protection and my security, he validated me, and most importantly he stressed the importance of family. He empowered me to take risks and chances as a woman and provided the possibility of living life without restrictions. I am fearless because of him.
What’s the best thing you’ve learned from your Father?
The best thing I learned from my father is knowing how to apologize instead of just saying I’m sorry. Sorry is just a band aid but apologizing is the beginning of healing the wound.
What struggles did you face in your relationship with your Dad and how did you get through them?
It took a while for my father to give me autonomy and let go of being overprotective. My older sister and I are only 11 months apart and my father would extend more responsibilities to her; Maybe because of the expectations he had of us individually or maybe because he was truly only seeing me as his baby girl. Since he’s passed it’s something I’ll never know but I continued to clamor for my independence, and it took a few times before he recognized that I too was capable and responsible.
What has your relationship with your Father taught you about what to look/not look for in your partner?
While my father demonstrated loving my mother and providing for his family, he also gave me the gift of value and self-reliance. He wanted me to have a husband who stayed around because he couldn’t imagine life without me, not because he felt obligated to take care of me. He instilled in me the importance of working to support myself so that if my husband became disabled, we divorced or he died, I knew how to survive to provide for my family.
How has your relationship with your Father shaped the woman you are today?
I inherited my father’s work ethic. I begged him to get me a job at 15 because working hard was all I saw him do. He taught me the true meaning of being tenacious so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor later. Being a Project Manager, Nonprofit Founder, and Author may sound like many jobs to some, but it feels normal for me.
If you could write a short letter to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what would you say?
Dear Father – What I wouldn’t do to hear your voice, your laughter, and lean into your embrace again. I miss the little things – your words of wisdom, you’re singing with your neck to the side, and your infectious humor. I will miss you walking me down the aisle when I get married and welcoming your grandchild into this world. Although you were only here for a short time, your presence was truly felt. You’ve given me life lessons that I can take with me until I see you again. I hope I’m making you proud through the foundation and you’re resting in Paradise. Love always, Your Baby Girl