Fathers day is here at least in Canada. In Germany it was a couple of weeks ago I think. Either way there are dues that need to be paid. My relationship with my dad is complicated to say the least. He is not perfect and never has been. I can see all his flaws just as much as his strengths. However it is one of the relationships I truly appreciate, am thankful for and hold dear.
What is a Father exactly? Through out the years and through out cultures the role of a father has changed. As I grew up I learned there was a difference between being a father and being a dad. I’ve seen many types of “fathers” or “dads”. One mayor difference I learned is that it doesn’t take a lot to be a father but to be a dad requires an active multi-role in someones life. What do I mean by that?
When looking up the word father in a dictionary. You will get multiple answers. My favourite is: “be the source or originator of.” I believe this is the most accurate.
Yet when I think of the word dad the dictionary does not do it justice. When I think of dad the following attributions come to mind: love, effort, time, attention, protection, dedication, honesty, support, consistency, patience, etc. etc. A dad has a presence in their children’s life. He makes an impact everyday that helps shape who one becomes. He wants what’s best for his children, he understands what love is and is one of the first persons who teach his children what true love is.
I see my dad try to step up to be a better dad each time. He has raised me, taught me and pushed me to grow. When I told him about the topics of my blog he was quick to try to protect me. He told me: ” Are you sure? Those topics can be controversial. You may get some negativity, why don’t you try to write about something less controversial? More safe.”
However, he has always taught me to go after my dreams and to think about my actions, my beliefs and life. So instead of just saying okay, I went on to explain the reasons I had chosen Immigration and Wellness. His response immediately changed to one of support. He told me to be careful but that my voice was important, that if I truly wanted to do those topics to do it well and to send him the link so he could read it. His tone changed from protectiveness and skepticism to one of support, protection, and love. He had the patience to listen and try to understand where I was coming from.
He has surprised me in how he has grown and stepped up when I least expected him to. When I struggled with depression and anxiety, I thought he would be the last to understand. And yet he was the first to understand, hear me, see me and show me love. He didn’t question the doctors instead he showed up everyday. He made time and even if it was new territory for him his main goal was to make me understand I was loved, that I could keep going and that I was not alone.
He has taught me that kindness should be given to people just because they are humans. But to also stand up for myself and not to be a doormat. He has taught me that respect needs to be earn each time. He has taught me that every action has consequences. That one needs to own up to their mistakes and to take responsibility. He has taught me that there is always a way, that there will always be a choice. He has taught me that what you did in the past does not excuse what you are doing now. He has taught me that actions and words leave marks. He has taught me that sometimes you have to give up something in order to get something better. He has taught me that it is better to be alone than with bad company. He has taught me the importance of choosing a good partner and a good dad for my children. He has taught me that family is important and that there needs to be unity because we are meant to protect each other. He has taught me that even if you are family that does not give you a free pass to treat each other badly and expect the other to suck it up. He has taught me to be honest. He has taught me that I am valuable and therefore deserve to be treated correctly. He has taught me to ask and work for what I want. He has taught me to laugh when things are hard. He has taught me that it’s okay to fall down, it’s about getting back up whether with the help of someone or by myself. He has taught me that material things don’t make up for the failures at home. He has taught me that material things are nice but they are temporary. Meanwhile love is something we are lucky to have and we should cherish it and take care of it or it will die.
Thanks dad for everything. Thank you for reading this. I’m lucky to have you.
If your dad is in your life my best recommendation for a gift would be to give him 5 minutes of your day to make one memory with him. One you can cherish and one that allows him to feel your love.