"Anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a Dad" - I came across this the other day and I couldn't agree with it more whole-heartedly. There is something truly special about seeing a dad with his children, and if I may be biased here, seeing the relationship between a daughter and her dad. Dads don't often get enough credit for the things that they do, the presence that they are to their families. And on this Father's Day, we want to honor all the dads out there. Thank you for all that you do for your families.
Not many people know this about me, but my parents had a long distance marriage for over a decade when they decided to pursue the American Dream, and that marriage unfortunately ended because of it. I stayed behind with Mom while Dad brought my sister, 4 years older than me, to start this dream. The plan was always for our whole family to be reunited after Dad would establish a brand new computer parts business here in the States (he had previously working for a bank) and could provide for our family. But I was going to stay back for as long as that took. A year after my sister and Dad moved to California, I couldn't wait any longer. I enjoyed being with Mom, and liked my school in Taiwan, but when I visited them that one Summer, I fell in love with our new home in California. It was a modest wooden 1970's home with lots of fruit trees and a yard, none of which I had ever experienced. I wouldn't leave to go back to Taiwan with Mom, until my parents promised that they would try to move me the following year, after I finished 3rd grade.
They kept their promise. I was able to enter the 4th grade in the United States, in an ESL (English as a Second Language) program. Turned out, it was an incredibly difficult transition for all of us. Back in Taiwan, I knew my dad as a fun weekend dad, and occasional weeknights we would see him for dinner. But I didn't ever know him well. When we made the move out to California and left my mom back home, I got to really know my dad. He was my age at the time, single-handedly raising two little girls (one of whom was approaching puberty), learning to cook for us, run a business for the first time, and then chauffeur us around to Chinese school on Saturdays and piano lessons an hour away afterwards, where he would practically crash on the couch for a quick nap. Life was hard for him, and the transition to a new culture, learning a new language, was hard for us. But we kept at it.
Missing my mom was probably the hardest thing. She visited us every few months, with phone calls in between, and cards and notes faxed (!) to each other. Whenever she came, it was like Christmas morning every time -- there would be lots of hugging and kissing, happy tears, and she would bring us our favorite treats and clothes that she had bought for us. Whenever she would leave to go back home, it was the hardest on our dad, who would miss her like crazy. This continued for 10 long years, until I was going to college.
I won't bore you with all the details here (another post for another time), but Dad and I had developed a deep relationship and I wrote a college essay about his being my hero. He really was my hero.
Here's to all the heroes, the fathers and father figures in our lives. We love you and are blessed to call you "Dad".
Do you have a story to share about your dad? Please tag us and share away!
These photos are courtesy of @TumblingSparrowPhotography of the sweetest twin girls with their dad @seriouslystoffel. <3