June 11, 2018
Everybody thinks their dad is the ultimate dad but mine is so incredibly special. Papa was born and raised by a very poor bi-lingual family. He has told me of times he would wake up before school and walk to some fields to pick cotton. He got paid by the pound and would take his earnings and walk to school. He often had shoes with make shift soles, always had hand me down clothes and shared his room with many brothers (Grandma had 11 children – 10 boys and 1 sweet girl). Dinner was often a pot of beans and home-made tortillas — still one of his favorite meals.
Papa went through his adolescence coming up with strategies to make more money, taking odd jobs anywhere, imagining a life with more money, saving, saving, saving his money. That characteristic about Papa never left him, he did not like feeling so vulnerable and having to ask others for help. So, he dreamt of being self-sufficient, having plenty of disposable income, and living in a nice neighborhood to raise children with opportunity. He accomplished all of his goals and then more and more!!! Probably most dads do these things for their families.
What then makes my dad so special? Oh my!!
Top 10 Reasons Why My Dear Old Dad is THE MAN OF THE CENTURY
- When my mom was suddenly gone, he picked up all the pieces and made new traditions and fabulous new memories. All the while he continued to afford college, health care, braces, opportunity, a new house to begin again, and a child’s wedding.
- When we all moved out onto our own, he was still there alone in his little house ensuring holidays were special, birthdays were not forgotten, problems were processed, and lives were shared as joyfully as possible. And all the while he knew he would never marry again — dates here and there but mostly close friends, brothers, Grandma, family, work and his own adventures built the routine of his life.
- When Grandma had to go live in a convalescent home, Papa nightly made trips to visit Grandma after his routine 12-14 hour work days. Sometimes it would be as late as 7pm and he would begin the 20-30 minute drive to ensure Grandma had a visitor each and every day. Perhaps once a week he would stop and pick up her favorite treat from Sheridan’s (vanilla ice cream) to share with her. Papa continued this routine for years and towards the end of Grandma’s life he at times made two trips during a night because she needed his presence.
- Years later, my dad knows each of his four grandkids very well. He is constantly searching for new activities, adventures and opportunities that cater to each child’s personality. Lately he has been known to attend his youngest grand-daughters tap dancing class alongside her.
- He is always game for a new adventure— in fact listened to my son tell him about starting a worm farm, and went to the work of researching how they would start this business. He has taken his whole family on multiple trips including all the perks at Walt Disney World. Takes tap classes with his youngest granddaughter, attends karate with his youngest grandson, purchases yearly family zoo passes and family pool passes all in an effort to bring joy to his grands (and he is usually the one towing everyone about).
- Papa continues to involve himself in interests he has in life. He recently bought a piano and began taking piano lessons, he signed up for a drawing class at a local community college, takes dancing classes, is planning a trip overseas with his brother, enjoys attending the opera, loves walking with his dog, goes to the gym to exercise, reads avidly, has a knack for the stock market and is passionate about spending time outdoors.
- Papa is continuously happily available to lend a helping hand to anyone. A few years ago in fact he was buying himself a new car and he decided to give his old car to a boy up the street who could not afford a car of his own.
- Papa is enormously happy for someone who has worked hard and found a success in life. Greed, jealousy and resentment are all lost on my dear, sweet dad. In fact, Papa believes that everyone can be the success story they envision. He has even given money to cousins to help them achieve their goals. And is always listening for ways he can help his grands take another step toward guaranteed success in life.
- Papa wanders the earth on a daily basis with a whistle to his step and a hello to everyone he encounters.
- Papa knows how to laugh at himself and finds great joy in his life!!!
As a child, I knew how lucky I was to have my dad in my life. I heard people often tell me how kind my dad was, saw him share with others, viewed him giving to others, listened when people called him for help or advice, overheard people speak of his charisma. style and handsomeness, observed him daily leaving our house to go spend 12-14 hour days at work, shared in his willingness to be a part of his whole families lives and finally discovered that he was dedicating his life for his families well being.
As a adult, my dad is my hero!! I will spend my life aspiring to be just like him. Happy Father’s Dad to my very sweet, silly, incredibly special dear old dad!!
I love you-I love you-I so love you!!!!