“I’ve had a hard life, but my hardships are nothing against the hardships that my father went through in order to get me to where I started.” – Bartrand Hubbard
One of my fondest and earliest memories with my father can be found in a famous fast food chain right outside our village. I was probably four or five years old and we were queuing up in the drive-thru window. It could had been nothing out of the ordinary but what made it special was when then toddler me forked over a shiny yellow Ninoy Aquino bill proudly telling my dad I could pay for the meal myself. He was shocked because: a) I have managed to “steal” a bill without him knowing and b) it was probably the moment he realized that his daughter would get into more trouble later on in life for the sake of helping others.
That’s one of the many memories I share with my father. As I look back on the seasons of my life, I couldn’t find a moment wherein my dad wasn’t there. We spent a lot of countless hours in the car where he would often give me pep talks about life or sermons, depending on his mood and the circumstances I have found myself in.
He worked tirelessly to keep his family together and would often sneak little allowances when I have squandered off my salary two days after getting it. We had a lot of daddy-and-me moments, spending our free time in the comforts of our favorite coffee shop, not really talking but each lost in our own world of books and the news.
My love for books and politics came from my father. Albeit a quiet man, my father is the man who knows everything. He’s updated with the news from all over the world; he knows what movies are earning, and who’s leaving who in Hollywood. My love for movies came from him and my passion and tenacity also mirrored his own.
My dad who has been working since he was 10 has reached great heights and through hard work, he pushed through the barriers and escaped his small town. The grit my father came from a place of wanting to break free from the cards life has dealt with. He proved that there were no excuses in life.
He came from a position where everyone told him that that he couldn’t make it and yet every day he proves that he can. He is a man filled with love and loyalty for his family, one who doesn’t just say but actually does what he says. And he is a man who has survived life and the way he has handled life and all its challenges is what fuels my own journey, as I begin one away from my father for the first time in 28 years.
Being miles apart is possibly the biggest challenge I’ve come to face but everyday my father reminds me that though he is no longer holding my hand, he is still with me, and in me is the woman he raised to be strong, to rise above, and most of all, conquer, just like he has.
Happy Father’s Day to my life’s greatest love. I’ll see you soon.
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