Market Place Simplified: News & Views by Pooja
A good father is one of the most unsung, upraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.”
- Billy Graham
Father’s Day is a tough holiday for me, as my father passed away six years ago, a few days before my birthday. But in honor of my dad, and all the other dads and dads-to-be, and the men who stepped-up to be father figures, I dedicate this to you.
My dad was the backbone of our family, like many other fathers I know. He was the breadwinner who kept it all together, the man we feared yet revered. There was little compromise when it came to education and our careers, as my father similar to many other immigrant fathers came to this country for one purpose: to provide a better life for his family.
My father supported each of his children to pursue their goals and aspirations, not wanting to diminish their hopes due to a lack of opportunity or societal barriers. Far from normal behavior for an immigrant father. Although my father was pursuing a PhD in Chemical Engineering, his heart was elsewhere, he had always dreamt of being an architect. He had given up his dream because his father did not believe he could do it, and at that time, engineering or medicine were his only options. Until the day my father passed, he carried regret not pursuing his dream of becoming an architect, but he was grateful to be able to provide for his family.
Given the current economic and health crisis impacting many Americans, providing a home for his family, food on the table, clothes on our back, three kids through college and settled in their professions, and of course, a lifetime worth of memories is more than anyone could wish for. It is these memories that allow me to reminisce, thinking back to the nightly family dinners when conversations covered everything under the sun, from politics to bowel movements (either, without judgement). Great food and great conversations, enjoyed with my father’s two uncompromising rules: (1) Try not to be late (or risk losing-out on second helpings), (2) No cell phones at the dinner table. It never mattered what was served for dinner, but the conversation and the togetherness ensured we always felt loved and supported. During tough times, it’s important for us to look back at the fond memories we build with our families and those close to us. For me, I think back to the adventures my father would share with us, his trips from Rhode Island to California in a $500 car, having to walk 10 miles to buy groceries, and how he met my mother.
Although I may not have appreciated all of my father’s wisdom, and occasionally rolled my eyes being a typical teenager. I am fortunate his life experiences live on in me, and how I carry myself as a member of society.
Father’s Day isn’t really about giving Dad a gift, it’s about recognizing the gift of caring that fathers express when they help put food on the table, teach their child to ride a bike, cheer at a ball game, and push them to achieve better. Fathers play a vital role as they get emotional at graduation or as they give their daughter’s hand in marriage, play horsey with their grandchild, and most importantly, act as a protector and let their love shine, through the life of their child.
For a father, Father’s Day isn’t so much about taking the accolades of a job well done, regardless of how well-deserved, but about giving thanks for the greatest opportunity, a in a child’s life. The greatest gift a father can give to a child, is the actual expression of love. It is not enough to feel love for them, but to actually express that love through hugs, laughter and joy. Financial assets aside, it is this laughter and joy that proves to be life’s greatest currency.
As sad as I am to have lost my father, I am overwhelmed with gratitude to have a father like mine. He was to his core a great, humble, kind, and loving person. He wanted the best for me and my siblings, and he loved us so much. He was able to share so many lessons that I hope to share with my readers and with my family.
To leave you with the lyrics ‘Song for Dad” by Keith Urban-
“There were times I thought he was bein'
Just a little bit hard on me
But now I understand he was makin' me
Become the man he knew that I could be
In everything he ever did
He always did with love
And I'm proud today to say I'm his son
When somebody says I hope I get to meet your dad
I just smile and say you already have
The older I get
The more I can see
How much he loved my mother and my brother and me
And he did the best that he could
And I only hope when I have my own family
That everyday I see
A little more of my father in me
He's in my eyes
My heart, my soul
My hands, my pride
And when I feel alone
And I think I can't go on
I hear him sayin' "Son you'll be alright"
Everything's gonna be alright"
Yes it is…
I hope everyday I see
A little more of my father in me”
Happy Father’s Day!