My Dad On His 61st Birthday

23 August 2011

My dad's birthday celebration this year was extraordinary. Usually, he celebrates his birthday with my younger brother (whose birthday is not far off from his), the whole family's complete, and there's a lot of food on the table. This year, my younger brother gave way, to honor our father. He told us that this time, he wants to give the celebration to our dad alone. Simple, extravagant, we never miss out on celebrating our father's birthday. Just over the weekend, we had an advance celebration. His birthday is today (Tuesday), but since it's a weekday, we decided to move the celebration earlier, so that we  can still make him feel that no matter what, we are here to honor him on his special day.
Today, he is  officially 61 years old. I bought his cake and ask for a single blue candle. Everyone then asked, why 1 candle? I said: because from now on, every year, I thought that his birthday should be celebrated like it's his first. Digits will not matter. As long as we are all here, he is here, every birthday is going to be celebrated as if  we are not aging.
Another extraordinary thing that happened during our celebration was the small program my husband prepared. Well, everyone was surprised including me. I wasn't expecting anything from my husband, I know how he loves and respects my father, but this surprising idea topped my dad's birthday celebration. So my husband asked everyone to share their fondest moments with our dad. My mom started, then I followed, my brother, my husband and my sister.  

I remember my dad as a strict father. But now I have my own children to raise, I look back at the things I learned throughout the years when I thought that being "strict" was too much. It all boils down to the fact that all he wanted was for us to grow up as simple human beings, respected and loved by others. When it was my husband's turn to talk, he shared that he saw a lot of my dad in me. Well, being a mother is not easy, I took a lot of things from my father when I got married and started my own family. Discipline, way of living and even on handling money.

As for what I told my dad that evening, I told him that I am very proud to be the daughter of a very respected man. That I know a person, through him who traveled the whole country, the person who has become an educator to his own children when it comes to dealing with life's situations, loops and holes. The person, who taught me to be selfless. The person who showed me the real meaning of hard work. I thanked him for the guidance and never ending love and support that he has given and is still giving my own family. He has always been there for his children. He never left our sides. 

To us (with my brothers and sisters), our parents are the most important inspiration we have in our lives and we thank God for giving them to us.

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