Papa, Do Preach

In offshore countries, Father’s Day has been made a red-letter day since civilization learned the real value of a father. It originated in the United States and was then adopted by most countries the world over. Today, the Philippines celebrates Father’s Day.

My father is the sole living parent I have. When Mama passed away, just like any widower, he took over the responsibilities of both–a father and a mother. A scant two years after though,  he felt he needed a partner. So came the stepmother. They were never married, but they stayed in one roof for a while and bore two children. Her reign in our house, however, was short-lived because we didn’t mix well. Somebody had to leave. My father was presented two options he feared–us his children or the woman he thought he loved. How relieved I became when he chose us.

Any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. In our case, we call him Papa.

Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance, so I’ve heard. We are never well off, but the lessons my father taught were lessons that were not taught anywhere else, even in school. He had gone far beyond the reaches of his capacity just to groom us into better individuals. He put us first before himself. Even now, he still looks out for our well-being when it is his time to be looked after.

We always have to cajole him into going out for a dinner, a movie, or an out-of-town trip. Sometimes I think perhaps he’s lonely for being alone (without a partner, that is). But I believe he is way past that. As your father gets old, it seems it also gets harder to make him happy. Or maybe he’s already happy but just doesn’t want to show it. Did I mention we are a family who’s allergic to sentimentality and mush? We don’t say “I love you” to one another. I guess we are just firm believers of the saying, “Action speaks louder than words.”

I could never ask for a better father. If his preaches made my ears sting before, now I actually miss them. I have to go get a good dose of that when I drop by for a visit.

Treat your father to something special today. Or give him a handmade and self-written greeting card. Or a cake maybe. Fathers want to act like fathers. It might not show, but you know that deep inside, they’re pleased. And that’s what matters.

"My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." --Clarence Budington Kelland


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