I’ll be turning 32 soon— but no matter how old(er) I get, I always feel like a kid when I’m around my father. Not that every memory of him is rosy – he is as faulty as any ordinary father. But I guess it is his very imperfection that makes me proud of him.
Admittedly, I have more childhood memories of my mom than my dad (yea, yea – I was a mama’s boy. Shadap.) – my sister Alyn was closer to him (so yea, Oedipus and Elektra complex = present). He used to smoke, and drink a lot with his buddies — he seemed to be a popular person back in my childhood. He was a civil engineer from the DPWH, and both my parents had lots of trophies for winning championships on the Lion’s Club Bowling tourneys (something I never had a chance to inherit haha).
Communicating with my father wasn’t always easy. The only things we could happily talk about was spiritual stuff, church stories, ministry experiences. He never talked to me about what happened to my sisters, or even about my mother’s mental struggles. He never asked me about my studies, my friends, or just about me. There was a time when, after summoning as much courage as needed as to jump down from a two-storey building, I asked him: “How did you meet Mama?” He just gave me an awkward smile, then changed the topic.
(Of course, I already knew some parts of the story from relatives, but I wanted to hear it from him directly)
Yet, for all his shortcomings, I am proud of him. I am proud of how he did his best to help me at least finish high school, despite the then-prospect of me stopping my education. I am proud of how he to sacrifice his own reputation and pride – borrowing money from people, just so we can have a decent meal despite his unemployment. I am proud that he did not held back on punishing me when I did wrong things – painful, yet it helped mold my character. I am proud.
I’m too big (literally) now to snuggle on my father’s tummy, or to puppy-bite his arm for the sheer fun/heck of it — but those were the most precious memories I ever had about my dad (next to the time he bought me a Lego police station set), because those were the moments where I could just be a kid and worry about nothing despite the fact that our family was beset by crises on every side.
The only time I remember him crying was back in our old home in Polangui, Albay before I went to Metro Manila. He was praying with us and for us. My mom could still move around then, and my brother was still skeptic about faith. And I was confused about life. But my father kept believing through our hardships. I guess he is my rolemodel in terms of my attitude about Christ and the church ministry (except the part where he would smash our relatives’ religious statues and objects). When he left public service, he was very passionate about church; he used to join evangelistic crusades and mission exposures around Bicol. He even joined a Bible School for a while. He was a generous supporter of our rural churches, to the point that I was wondering if he was already being taken advantage of. Yet he pressed on, even when my mom had a terrible stroke in 2006 which left her paralyzed until today – he just kept on loving God.
Yeeaaaa, my dad and I are still awkward about each other on cheesy stuff like this (I guess most men are) – and my confidence in writing this is because I know there’s only a 7% chance of him reading this at all (HAHAHA).
But more than my dad, I challenge you – fathers and fathers-to-be: Don’t just be there for your kids. Create a memory. Instill a legacy. And like the old song goes, let us desire to be like our Father in Heaven, too – “a mirror of His heart”, so that we can pass on Christ’s heritage of righteousness to our own children.
All I want for others to see Is a reflection of You inside of me Like the sun on the still water Let me be a mirror of Your heart I want to walk in the image of You Like a child imitating What his Father would do A mirror of Your heart Lord, I want to be You disciple An example the way You are to me And I as see Your humble perfection Let me be a mirror of Your heart I want to walk in the image of You Like a child imitating What her Father would do A mirror of Your heart All I want to be is a mirror of Your heart Just an example of a mirror of Your heart A mirror of Your heart (You’re the example for me all that I want to be) Is a mirror of Your heart (Reflecting all that I am so that they may see You) Oh an example (You’re the example for me all that I want to be) Oh just an example (Reflecting all that I am so that they may see You) Just a mirror of Your heart (You’re the example for me all that I want to be) Is a mirror of Your heart
Happy Fathers Day to all! May we always delight in our Father’s love!