Thanks for making me who I am, dad
I was gently awoken by the stroke of a warm and affectionate hand on my forehead. I felt someone remove my glasses and put away the book I was reading.
As I tried to get up while half asleep, I heard my father say:
“Beta, you should avoid staying up so late. It’s not good for your health.”
This same man, while crossing the road today, held my hand reassuringly. However, his hands are different now, the wrinkles and veins are more prominent – he is getting old. Even though they show a mark of the years that we’ve left behind us, there is something that hasn’t changed; his touch still exemplifies the kindness that will always be a part of my life. I could then and still sense the presence of this human being as an emblem of unconditional love and protection. That’s exactly what a father is like, right? Strict, yet his intention is to look after you; authoritative, yet all he means to do is to guide you; inquisitive, yet all he wants is for you to be secure.
This is exactly what my father is like. In fact, this is what all fathers are like.
While we’re growing up, there are some things that we learn through our encounters and observations, while some attributes are instilled in us. Clarence Budington Kelland said about his father,
“He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it”.
This can actually explain the great resemblance I bear to my dad. Despite the fact that our outlook on life might be distinct, three facets of his personality are prevalent in mine too. He is my source for these elements, and they represent who I am today.
Source of Perseverance
The most powerful memory of my father is that of his struggle. I can vividly recall his late night returns from work when he’d be exhausted, and he’d still help me with my homework along with anecdotes for never giving up. He was always patient, and tried not to let his work trouble affect the family. From his constant efforts to make a career in medicine, to balancing relationships with work, he taught me that life is difficult for everybody and it’s easier to triumph when you face it with a smile. I observed how he encountered failure and never gave up. I might not be as strong as he is, but now I know how to walk with my chin up in life. I know it because I have seen him do it.
Source of Simplicity
When I was six, ‘read, learn and express’ were words that he repetitively stressed upon. My favourite present from him has been the book “Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. Books were his medium of expression; of telling me that knowledge and enlightenment are what he desires for me. Papa taught me to be pragmatic and to recognise the worth of things that actually matter. It’s not how we look, but the way we think. While I was a child, he encouraged me to read and write, to be socially aware. He bought me books, and gave me newspapers to read. He’s been my guide throughout, because his intentions implied that life is best when lived with simplicity; and that happiness lies in the smallest events.
Source of Humour
Last week, I showed him a video of my speech at college, and he said:
Thank me, you speak so well. You know why? You have my genes that’s why.
Indeed, I do. But we argued over how I also have his genes when it comes to being a miser, a foodie, probably the only teenager who enjoys classical music and a ‘crybaby’ while watching sad movies. He’s my source of laughter, my buddy who helps me tease everybody else at home, my partner in mischief and definitely in escaping mum’s wrath too. And I think we’ll all agree that it is this light-hearted interaction that makes the bond even deeper.
This is not all that he’s done for me, he continues to do more without expecting anything in return. His world revolves around his children. He is always thriving to make our future better. When I look at him, it makes me appreciate the sacrifices that he has had to make in order to let us have our share of happiness. Who else in the world would bother doing so much? But he did. He cared about my health, while ignoring his own, encouraged me to step up in everything I wanted to achieve, pulled all-nighters with me just so that he could wake me up if I fell asleep, praised my first disastrous cooking experiment, and remained my friend.
My dad is an eye specialist, which means he is accustomed to carrying out surgeries. While his hands never shook while operating on his patients, the situation was quite the contrary when it was time to operate me for my Chalazion eye surgery. When I asked my dad why it happened, he just said,
It’s difficult to hurt someone who’s precious to you because their pain upsets you.
When he said that, I was convinced that he will always be there for me, no matter what. I would never want to be a reason for his distress.
Thus, our fathers have a unique significance in our life. However, as we move on, we forget to give them the honour and appreciation that they deserve. Over the years, Father’s Day hasn’t been celebrated with as much zeal as Mother’s Day.
Is it because we’ve taken our fathers for granted?
Or because they don’t spend as much time with us at home?
Maybe because they are not as expressive of their love for us as our mothers are?
Or maybe because they tend to be too protective of us?
No matter what the reason, today is the day to thank them for all the secrets they have had to keep from us, for all the times when they have over looked our mistakes and appreciated the most trivial of achievements we have attained in life, and for listening and being there for us no matter how rebellious we have been.
Today is your day and I want to cherish all the moments that I’ve have been blessed with to spend with you. I want to hold your hand forever. I love you dad.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.