Saturday, June 20, 2009

What would I be without my Father?

And so the commercial hype of Mother's Day has passed and now the focus is on what to buy fathers. I seldom know what to get my Father to show my love and appreciation. I've bought him books, luggage, CDs and electronic gadgets. I've even made him cards, sent him electronic ones too. But how do you really show the man who helped bring you up in this world that you really care and cherish all that he has done for the family?

I want to tell him that although he is always far away I hear his words of wisdom in my head, in everything I do.

I want the whole world to know that he has shaped my environmental activism and love of all things great and small. That his generous spirit and gentle guidance have given me so much freedom to explore the world and be all that I want to be.

I want to thank the man who sacrificed so much so that his family can have so much comfort in life. He is frugal with himself but is lavish with us. How many men can tolerate working in harsh environments that are isolated, endure long hours and night shifts? He kept himself motivated and sane with exercise and hearing my Mother's voice on the telephone.

This is the man who makes me feel like his thousand gold. He taught me to love myself, to hold my head high, and to live a life imbued with high moral values. When I was a younger woman, naive and stupid about men, he taught me about the importance of fidelity, trust, and wanting the best for myself. When I was ready for a steady relationship, I wanted a man with the sterling qualities that made my Mother want to choose Dad as her life partner: honesty, patience, respect, humor and dedication to her and the family. And happily, I found someone quite like my Dad :)

My father is the reason I have a lifelong thirst for knowledge. He upholds the importance of good education for it is something no one could take away from us. I'll never forget the paperbacks and National Geographic magazines he brought from his work place to encourage my love for reading. This also meant that that I read mostly Tom Clancy, Frederick Forsyth, Alistair Maclean, Sydney Sheldon, and Dean Koontz while my peers were into Judith McNaught, Barbara Cartland, Mills and Boons. But it suited my tomboyish nature fine.

When I was a little girl, I feared his strict ways. He told me that his days in the Armed Forces were tough but it is likely that he and my mother shared a strategy for keeping us kids in line. But I certainly remember the year he retired from the Army. He was a different man, openly smiling and making jokes. He was...liberated from a highly regimented life. So yes, he was strict but only when we kids were wayward. Otherwise, my brothers and I enjoyed a carefree childhood.

To my wonderful Father, I can never thank you enough. I hope to always make you proud. Happy Father's Day!