We might fight with him once in a while, we might get annoyed when he tells us off, but at the end of the day, dad is dad and we knew that everything was because he loved us. As Father’s Day approaches, we take a look at several things our fathers told us that hid behind deeper sacrifices than we ever realized at the time. But, hey! It’s never too late to see all that our fathers have done for us.
“We have enough, we’ll get by.”
You have always been your father’s princess. No you weren’t all that well-off. But your father always made sure you are well and comfortable.
In the mall one day, you were looking longingly at a pair of cute brand-name flipflops on the shelf, and a few weeks later, you come home from school and see the same pair on top of your bed, waiting for you. “Be good, anak. Love, Papa” the card on the box read. You run to the living room and throw your arms around your Papa, thanking him for the gift. “But Papa, this is too pricey,” you tell him. “Don’t worry, anak we have enough.”
What you don’t know is that Papa ate cheap bread for lunch for weeks on end, so he could save his lunch money to buy you those flipflops. Papa had a huge appetite, and he probably wanted more, but he skipped fancy meals, just so he could give you the things that you want.
“It’s okay to go on a date.”
You announce to the family that you will be bringing home a guy you’ve been dating for some months now. Your little brother is excited, your Mom more so. You haven’t dated anyone, or at least none that they know of. Your Papa doesn’t answer, gives you faint grunt instead.
When you arrive home with your date that night, you are surprised to see your Dad, cleaning his gun in the living room. You look at your Mom in disbelief, she gives you a look that says “You know your Dad.” Dad almost scared your boyfriend away, but that night, a little smile played on your lips, because you know he only wanted to protect you.
“I am tougher than any guy you know.”
Your Dad has always been your savior. When you were young, everyone sported an apple cut and blunt bangs. But for some reason, your neighbors always, always felt compelled to tease you about your “cereal bowl” hairstyle. One day, you got so fed up about the bullying already, you went home crying.
When your Papa found out about it, he stormed out of the house, into the house of the kid that bullied you. He talked to the parent. Made sure the kid gets reprimanded. The next morning, when the boy saw you walking home from school, he turned away without saying a single word.
“I will never let you grow up to be a spoiled brat.”
If there is one story your Mom loves to tell, it’s of that time your Dad was but a few blocks away from home, but he drove all the way back because he remembered that he forgot to buy you pasalubong. You were a bratty kid then, and your Dad knew that forgetting your pasalubong meant being snubbed by you when he arrives at the door.
You don’t remember how so many times, your Dad has reprimanded you for talking back, for sneaking way past your bedtime, for doing the exact things you were told not to.
But at the end of the day, when his anger has subsided, you will see that he has left you extra baon on top of the dresser, even when he said he doesn’t want you to go to that party. You will see that he cooked your favorite ulam after you got into an argument with him. You will discover that he may get mad at you for your ways, he may say that he will not let you grow up to be a spoiled brat, but he gives you the things that will make you happy, even if it means going out of his way, even if he doesn’t really agree.
“You are old now, I’ll let you deal with your own life.”
You are in your late twenties, and tomorrow is your wedding day. Your Dad knocks on your door, asks you how you are. He tells you how when you are a kid, you would always kind of dread having to give you away or lose you to your own family. But now that he sees you all dressed up (and a little bit nervous), that he’s never been happier and prouder. After you hug, he promises that he’ll let you do things your way. That gone are the days when he’d have to have all the answers. A part of you felt kind of relieved, but a part of you also felt that it was the end of an era of sorts.
Don’t worry, though, because you may grow old, you might have your own family now, you might even be a father already yourself, but your dad will always be there when you need him. It doesn’t matter how old he himself gets, because like some superhero, he’ll always be a phone call or a visit away with some sound advice or even actual help in whatever form you need it to be. He might retire from his job but no one ever retires from being a father. Ever.
So this Father’s Day, take time to visit, take time to say “I love you”. He doesn’t mind at all if you don’t get him anything, and the fact is that he’ll be happy enough to see you “all right” and grown up and happy. But it never hurts to give back. It never hurts to make him feel that all those years of sacrifice meant something. It never hurts to make him feel that it was all worth it.
Get him something. It can be something small, it can be something cheap, so long as it comes from the heart, that’s all that matters. And if you’re in need of some extra cash, pawning some old item you weren’t using too much to get him something is a big enough sacrifice.
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