Today is my father’s 69th birthday.
They say that only later in life you truly appreciate your parents and see them as individuals outside the context of merely a parent.
I think I am now at that stage in life where I am able to see my Father beyond a parent and see him presently and retrospectively as a Human being that has faced the same challenges and hardships I face every day as an adult.
All of us face difficult times, but what we become as we go through them is what will stay behind. My father faced life by standing by his principles and by carrying himself through life with kindness, respect, and care for others.
Anyone that I know who has ever met my Father would tell you he is one of the kindest most gentle Humans you will ever meet. Someone you can count on like a steady unassuming beacon of light that is always there in places of darkness.
When I think of my dad, the image I have of him is one of a person who you can count on in whatever the circumstances. He is predictable in the way he cares for those he loves, it’s the best kind of love a parent can give to their children, boring, steady, and ever-present.
My father and I didn't get to spend much time together, he is a Doctor, the type that sees medicine as a calling, his life’s work, which meant that most of his time would be spent taking care of those under his care. I would watch him come home at 8:00 AM after working 12-14 hour night shifts in the Emergency room, go straight to the shower, have breakfast, and go back to the hospital for work. There were no complaints, existential crises, he didn’t treat me poorly despite being exhausted all the time, he just did what he needed to do to serve others.
You see back in the day the meaning of success was inherently connected to one’s ability to serve and care for others. It was not related to a bank account, social media standing, ranks, or job titles. Success was about protecting and nurturing the ones you love. This is what my father gave me and my sisters.
All I can hope for is that one day when my son is my age he sees me the way I see you, I love you happy birthday Dad.