By this time we would already have gone online shopping for some Father’s Day gifts for my Dad. We would usually send cards wishing him well and to express our love and gratitude to him as our Dad, send him text messages, call him and pray for him. At home, he would always wait for those greetings from all of us. And he would know who would not be able to greet him. Sometimes he would feel bad about it but he was mature enough to understand if we called him late, probably due to time zone differences or the phone network instability. The latter often happens on such occasions, including Christmas and New Year, as everybody is trying to call home.
But this time, we can only remember our Dad in our minds and hearts. As he is not here physically anymore. What we could do to honor his memory is to do what he would usually advise us to do – to live a life of integrity before man and God, to be strong and remain steadfast in our faith in the midst of difficulty and adversity, to trust the Lord at all times, to be happy, to do our best, to be compassionate towards others especially the disadvantaged and the oppressed, to live simply, to keep reading and learning ... so many more that he has taught us about life. So much treasure, but priceless.
And so, for our Dad’s memory, we would like to share this poem by D.J. Brown. He had already read this, because this was on a card sent by my sister to him way back in 2003, when she wrote to him during her (my sister’s) birthday to express her thankfulness and appreciation to him for all his love, sacrifices, care and goodness as she was growing up. She said that she thanked God for giving her a father like him, and she considered it a blessing really! She added in her P.S. that this came from her heart. I am sure that all of us children have the same words to say to him, time and time again, not only on Fathers’ Day but on every occasion that we have the opportunity to do so. I am sure that when he read this message he was also touched.
Dad, as I was growing up,
you always made my world feel safe.
The deep calm of your voice steadied me…
and the strong circle of your arms shielded me.
I never felt vulnerable or afraid,
Because for me, you seemed unshakable.
As I got older, though,
It dawned on me that the world you faced everyday
was a lot bigger and scarier
Than the one you had created for me.
And I wondered, sometimes,
if you felt like relying on someone else’s strength for a change…
Now that I’m an adult
and living on the outside of your safety net,
I finally understand what sacrifices you made
to make sure “my world” felt all right all the time.
Growing up in the sanctuary of your love is something
I will always cherish and a memory I could never forget.
Now, more than ever,
I appreciate you for that.
I love you, Dad.
May you all express your love and appreciation to your Dads on Father’s Day and every time that you have the opportunity to do so.