This is not one of those articles where I lead you on and keep you guessing who this is for. This piece is for the love of dads, and for that of my own dad in particular.
My perception of my dad hinges on a collection of vivid childhood and teenage memories engraved in my mind. A series of little reminiscences that encapsulate everything I know about a father-daughter relationship.
I still remember when he stayed up the whole night of my final social studies exam to summarize my text book. I had gone to bed earlier than he did that night, and I woke up the next day to him handing me a hand-out of neatly handwritten green, red, and blue bullet-points. I was not sure if he got any sleep that night, and the trouble he had gone through to write up those dozen pages, just so I could flip through them before my exam, was downright astonishing to me. This might not be the most telling example of the lengths to which my father would go and has gone for me, but for some reason, it exemplifies how I see his sacrificial role in my life.
[bctt tweet=”This is not one of those articles where I lead you on and keep you guessing.” username=”wearethetempest”]
My dad is one of the most emotional men I know when it comes to taking care of his children, and especially, his little girl. I cannot forget how he silently cried at my bedside at the hospital when I was 11, after I had undergone a minor dental surgery procedure. He thought I was still anesthetized, which I was, but I was totally aware of him trying to hide his tears and act normal.
His eyes still tear up when the story of the four-year-old me falling off a swing he was pushing comes up. He told me that he rushed me to the hospital where I got stitched up, but I don’t remember the accident, and I don’t remember any drama. All I can recall is the clown puppets and teddy bears the doctors were waving in my face to wake me up. If it weren’t for his story, I wouldn’t remember why I had gone to the hospital to begin with, or that he was somehow involved. It would never occur to me that he had hurt me, even on accident.
When I was a rebellious teenager, my dad and I would scream our heads off right before I stormed into my room and shut the door behind me, never wanting to hear from him again, only to find him calling out my name in excitement half an hour later: “Mona! Come see this! Quickly!” eager to show me something on TV. I would come dragging me feet up to him, so late that I’d miss out on his discovery of course, but I would linger for a while and marvel at how he had managed to forget about everything so fast. Our conflicts never lasted more than a couple of hours, a day tops if the fight was a full-on catastrophe. He doesn’t know how to hold a grudge against me, nor against anyone else, and I wish I could be like that someday.
[bctt tweet=”Our conflicts never ever lasted more than a couple of hours” username=”wearethetempest”]
Every day, my dad keeps making me new memories and I try to savor them as much as I can. He is always on call for me. Whenever I need his help, he springs to his feet and gets dressed in 3 and a half minutes, ready to accompany me to run a much dreaded errand that I could totally do on my own, but just don’t want to. He still happily wipes my plate clean whenever I fill it up with more than I can handle, both literally and figuratively.
The sense of pride between us is mutual. I feel blessed that I have a dad who trusts all my decisions, no matter what, and always tells me he has faith in the person I am. Knowing that I would never betray his trust in me, he’s given me carte blanche to travel wherever I please, whenever I want and with whoever I chose, despite our society’s disapproval of women who roam so freely.
[bctt tweet=”He always tells me he has faith in the person I am.” username=”wearethetempest”]
He would read anything, literally anything, I write and regard it as a masterpiece. He’s always checking this platform for new articles by me, to share them with the world with pride and honor as if they are the works of a literary award winner. I can almost hear him say, “You are a genius and you will get yourself an award one of these days!”
[bctt tweet=”He totally inspires me without knowing it.” username=”wearethetempest”]
It is no wonder that I have taken after my dad in so many ways. I laugh at myself so loud that I let the whole wide world know that I have done something really silly, and that’s what he does too. I pursue the things I love with the kind of unwavering persistence he has. His level of humility is something I am constantly working on myself to attain, because there is the general definition of humility, and there is dad-humility. He is authentically himself and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks, and he totally inspires me without knowing it.
Maybe I am not as vocal as I should be about what he means to me. But, dad, I would like you to know that I love you, that you mean the world to me, and that this piece does not do you justice, nor will volumes ever do, because you are much more to me than language could express.