It’s been quite a while since the last time I’ve said the word “Dad” to someone who is actually my biological father. Of course I say the word “Dad” to my hubby’s father but it isn’t the same, you know what I mean, I hope.
Father … The strength of the family, the protector, the leader and, the provider. My father was an imposing figure – not in built but in personality. My hubby says my dad is “A man’s man”. I didn’t actually get that until after he, my dad passed on. What I remember of him is that he was strict, a disciplinarian, somebody who lives out the saying, “whatever you choose to do without consulting me or your mother, in the event you find yourself in a bind because of that, learn to get yourself out of it on your own.” We all, my brothers and sisters resented that when we were younger. But looking back, I guess that was a lesson in character building. Going back to being a man’s man, my hubby said that after being with my dad for the short period of time that he knew him, my dad was admirable. He was a man of his word. He can control his drink, pay his way out of chain smoking – he even beat colonic cancer. He was also a man in control of his emotions. The only time I ever saw him cry was when my second to the eldest sister died. I did not see my dad shed a tear when my mother died. Perhaps it was a case of one’s child passing on before a parent; and that in itself was painful. Further, because our dad was really tight-fisted financially we had to cheat on the actual amount of our tuition fee so that we could buy our books and school supplies.; but, I guess my dad knows that and he just did not say anything about it.
The best thing that my dad did for me was I was able to go abroad because of him. He helped me get back on my feet when I was abandoned by my first husband who took with him our two sons. Again, the wisdom my dad imparted to me then was to concentrate on my career and enrich myself so that if and when my two sons and I ever reconciled, they wouldn’t find me in a pitiful state. This, I’m still working on.
I don’t know if being the dutiful youngest daughter that I was when both my parents were alive were enough to have honored them. I guess that by bringing up my son along the principles handed down by my parents, especially by my dad is a way of honoring them. But, just like my dad, I think bringing up my son the best way I know how is what parenting is supposed to be.
To my mom and dad, especially my dad, Happy Father’s Day!