When I think of my dad, I think of the story of Jesus washing the disciple’s feet. My dad spent most of his life as a dad washing feet, and he never complained.
His love, kindness, patience, humility, and hard work with me and my children will be imprinted on my heart for the rest of my life.
My dad was all the things I know I am not and all the things I need to become. His legacy was his unselfish love for us.
Today on Father’s Day, I want to write a little note to heaven and tell my dad everything that I miss terribly about him.
I miss those egg omelets you would make with all sorts of crazy things, from rice to hot dogs or tuna.
I miss the homemade bone broth and chicken soups you gave me for 40 days after giving birth.
I miss you watching the kids for us when errands had to be taken care of and never once saying no.
I miss you organizing the garage and categorizing the contents in a color-coded fashion, complete with a notebook to know where each item was located.
I miss starting on our nativity scene 12 weeks before Christmas and handcrafting all of the pieces together.
I miss those hot ginger lemonades you would make me when I was coming down with a cold.
I miss eating out of your plate as a grownup and watching your grandkids do the same.
I miss going bike riding with you for hours and hearing about your travels to Egypt, Stockholm, and other places.
Now that the world cup is going on, I really miss watching all of the games with you and hearing you scream with every possible goal from the preferred team. I miss hearing you say: Gooooaaaaallllllllllllll
I miss watching you cook, type, and drink tea while holding your grandchildren. They never seemed to bother you one bit and often went with you to appointments, radio stations, interviews, and the library so I could work.
I miss traveling with you to remote places, sometimes not mom-approved. I can’t say I know any other dad that would let their kid ride on top of a train with a precipice to one side while going through tunnels filled with bats or breaking down in a fishing boat taking on water in the pacific ocean.
Yup, that was probably the best traveling adventure I can remember us being on, except for when I got chased by a bull in Riobamba, Ecuador while visiting your friend’s farm.
I miss watching you work passionately on my computer, writing articles that traveled past country lines. What I did not know was that those readers from around the world, thousands of them, would send emails after your death, and only then would I realize just how important your work was for those who admired you.
I miss hearing you lecture me about being patient with the kids and telling me not to forget to kiss and hug them more often.
I really miss hearing you say, “Dios te bendiga, maneja con cuidado.”, whenever I left to go somewhere. In English, that means, God, bless you and drive safely.
I miss listening to classical music and watching you whistle to all the high and low notes with your homemade harmonica.
I miss getting into my car and seeing the station on the AM public news because you had driven it last.
I miss hearing about your latest international project and arguing with you that you shouldn’t give your work away for free. Interestingly so, I do the same.
Going back in time, I miss helping you edit your Ecotourism magazine and learning to create publication layouts the old-fashioned way with X-Acto knives and lots of patience.
I remember the summer as a teenager when I was your intern and helped you run the PR and marketing for a presidential campaign overseas. You put me in charge of your office, and you were so gentle in teaching me how I needed to deal with the press and with visitors. You also taught me to use your ancient typewriter, so I could type the press releases. I really miss learning from you.
I miss you taking the kids for a walk every day and having them pick me flowers.
There are so many things I miss dearly that I could not possibly write them all down. Still, most of all, I really miss that last conversation we started having about God doing everything for a reason. We never got to finish it, but I know that everything did happen for a reason.
Although I still can’t understand it all, I am thankful that I got to call you dad and that my children, except our last-child, got to be around you and have you as their Amigo from the day they were born.
Indeed when a father believes in a child and encourages them to achieve the impossible, it is a gift to be treasured.
My dad may not have been the best businessman, but he gave what he had and did it with excellence.
He may not have made a lot of money in his lifetime, but he invested hundreds of minutes each day to help others without greed or self-interest.
He taught me to sew, cook, grow food, eat healthy, arrive on time, live on a budget, and never give up.
But the thing I loved most about him was his ability to encourage me when I wanted to throw in the towel. Instead of criticizing my faults, he lifted my spirit with creativity.
If I was trying to draw as a child and messed up countless times because I’m an awful artist, he would say, “it’s ok, let me help you.” He would then sit down and show me multiple techniques to improve my dismal drawings.
Happy Father’s day Papi. May you enjoy your strolls in paradise, alongside our Heavenly Father.
And Happy Fathers Day to all the dads who are still on this earth. Whether you have small children or your kids are already grown and gone. May you never cease to give a word of stern direction and encouragement to your children, no matter how much you think they don’t want to hear it.
May you always make time to serve your family and teach your children the true value of life.
May your legacy be evident in the love and dedication to your family and to others.
Dad’s, you have unlimited power in your hands to either destroy your children or encourage them with love and creativity. You can build bridges or burn them.
Your life and what you choose to do with it matters more than you will ever know.
For those who are not dads but still have a dad, tell him you love him today. Give him a big hug and a kiss if you can, and don’t take him for granted because when you least expect it, he may be promoted to glory.
God Bless You.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there.
Chemical Free Gal