One of the greatest lessons that God has shared with me this Holy Week is the depth of the love of a father; How this love is unfathomable and forgiving and sacrificing; How this love teaches you to be a better person instead of becoming vindictive; How this love encourages you to stay humble by accepting the injustice that the world may have given you... How this love ultimately reflects the love of the Father to His Son, and the love of the Son to His Father.
I learned a long time ago that you can never be truly rich until you find someone who you love and loves you in return. I found my wealth not in my wallet or my bank account, but in my family. I grew up knowing how it is crazy to work your butt off for stability—how there is a distinguishing factor in what you want compared to what you need; how you need to be responsible in all of your actions; and how you need to have good education to prepare yourself for your future. In the early stages of my life, I learned what poverty is. But no matter how important money is in our lives, I learned early on that money is money, but love is love. And when we speak of love, it fills your soul and spirits that money can and will never be able to touch.
Have you ever felt this kind of love? A love that is consuming and pure.
I will never be tired of saying that the ultimate blessing that God has given me is my family. I am truly humbled everyday by the fact that this is what He chooses me to have, and I am glad that He did not give me the permission to choose another or else I will not have this overflowing love that seems to be bursting inside of me every day.
I grew up to a family that is imperfect and flawed and can unconsciously bring you down. I grew up to a faulty family. But whatever pain and distraught we may give to each other, we exponentially triple with love. We communicate not by words, but with moments—those small glimpse of affection that goes straight to your hearts.
I love my family. No question about that. And this may be the reason why when we are under attack, I tend to retaliate. I have a tendency to fight back. But not with physical force, mind you, because I condemn violence, but with a bigger resolve to be successful. And to be happy.
When I learned this week how these people aggravated my father, how they stole from him and made him feel as if he was nothing, I cried. I was so angry at them for taking my Papa for granted because, even for a million years, he is undeserving of that kind of treatment. He is good, and he is our hero—our family’s hero. He is the type of man that even if he is overseas most of the time because of his work, he comes home to us and fills the lost time with his devotion and love for all of us. He is an ideal father. He is the best.
I remember a time back in high school when it was raining so hard outside of our school and my sister and I will have to commute to go home. Our class had already ended and we went to the lobby to exit the building. Then, out of the blue, we saw our dad holding umbrellas for us dressed in his usual worn out shirt and shorts he uses at home. I asked him what he was doing here, and he only answered that it was raining. It was raining which is short for I do not want you to get sick, I’m worried about you, I do not want you to go home alone, I want to be of service to you, I am your father and I love you, and you are that special for me.
To grow up with a father just like what my sister and I have, to spend forever with a husband just like him, it was better than good. It is a remarkable blessing. That’s why it hurts me a lot to know that people are continuously tormenting him and causes him pain—people who are even close to him... who grew up with him.
And as infuriatingly good my father is for keeping quiet and not saying his piece, for reprimanding us whenever we decide to fight his battles, for still treating these people with the same kindness and love, I am prouder of him than ever before. I am proud to be his daughter. I am proud of this man whom I call my father.
Because he is the epitome of what love is. He makes me see and believe in a Higher being. Because his love encompasses all. His love is forgiving and healing. His love inspires me, and breaks me to become a better person. Because that is who my father is. He is a good man.
So for these people who are hurting the person that our whole family considers as our world, I don’t wish you ill fate. Instead, I pray that you will experience love—a love that will make you strive to be a better person; a love that makes you happy; a kind of love that is enough. I even pray harder that once your sons and daughters know that the price of their future is stealing from a good man and destroying his dreams for himself and his family, I pray that they will be proud of you—proud of whom you’ve become. Because judging by your actions and your greed, if I am to be in their shoes, I’m sorry but I will be ashamed to be called your daughter.
So, to my Papa, I love you and I thank the Lord everyday for the gift of you. Thank you for always becoming the better man. Thank you for being such an inspiration to all of us. Thank you for the privilege to be called your daughter. And no matter how dark the skies are in our journey, we will always have each other. We will always be here for you, Papa. So, let’s create newer and better dreams!