“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” – Jim Valvano
A favorite story from my childhood involves Mighty Ducks, my dad’s entertainment system, and a good old walis disguised as a hockey stick, with which I would imagine myself as a hockey player. I had an extremely hyper imagination when I was a child.
In retelling these stories I realize instantly that my dad has always been with me, in every milestone in my life. My dad had a job that allowed him more free time for us kids, unlike other dads. He would be there for every diaper change, every late night, and yes, there he was, too at his daughter’s over-the-top activities. My parents were constant figures in my life, with my mom as my best friend and my dad, the quiet family head who was always ready to listen.
The dynamics of our relationship has changed over the years, with most of our bonding time spent on the road. Through hours and hours spent commuting to work, my dad and I have bonded over life lessons (aka sermons) and life choices. My dad has always given me the freedom to choose (perhaps because he thought that he has rooted me enough in solid values for the right choices). Nevertheless, he always stepped in whenever he sensed that I wasn’t headed right. However, the biggest lessons I’ve learned from dad weren’t from those long car rides. It was about the life he lived, at home or at work.
My dad has been working since he was a child and through his own determination, with sheer passion and through prayers, he found himself fulfilling his childhood dream. In one of his more sentimental moments, he intimated that having a happy and growing family was among the answered prayers.
My dad has always envisioned a family solid and intact. In every choice, decisions, or situations faced such vision has to be affirmed or realized. He has kept to the belief that life is all about the choices. He always makes the family as his choice, over anything that this world has to offer.
He has also taught me about loyalty, integrity, and getting the job done without complaining. My dad has always given my brother and I the proper perspective on gratitude and on how greatly it affects life.
And on this Father’s Day, I honor him the best way that I can: through words and only because I know that the only reason I was able to choose a man as kind hearted, passionate, and faithful as he is is because he showed me through the years that I deserve as much. By loving my mom the way he has loved her, he has shown me what real love is like.
And while initally, I thought that getting married meant leaving my dad behind (which made me tear up more than a couple fo times), I realized that it’s not. It simply means that I have the great privilege to celebrate this new chapter of my life with the man who first loved and believed in me.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I hope I make you proud somehow because everyday I’m more aware of how proud I am of who you are.
And to all the dads out there, being great begins with simply loving your family and from it stems great things.
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