Father Knows Best (Most of the Time)

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Today, on Father’s Day, we celebrate the men who raised us and gave us a foundation. A father is someone who supports us, even when he doesn’t understand or agree with our decisions. He is a steady rock in an ever-changing, chaotic world. Father’s set us on a solid path and keep us from straying too far. They give us guidance and love. We look up to our fathers and aspire to either be them or find a man just like them. If I marry a man half as incredible as my dad, I will consider myself one lucky girl.

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

When I was younger, I saw my dad as a stoic, hard-working man. He was a bit of a mystery and not nearly as approachable as my mom, but he was by no means distant. I viewed my father as an important person who did important things, and I wasn’t wrong. Practically everything he did was done for the betterment of his family.

My dad had some odd habits and idiosyncrasies that didn’t make sense to me as a child. I never understood why my dad insisted on turning the lights off Pennieswhenever we left a room (or sometimes while we were still in the room). It baffled me that instead of turning the heat up when we were cold, he would tell us to put on a sweatshirt or grab (another) blanket. It amazed me that he would rather spend time trying to fix something that was broken rather than buying a new one.

I see now that each of those oddities was a means to an end. My father wanted to provide the best possible life for his family, and all these strange behaviors helped him accomplish that. These small acts saved minor amounts of money each year, but it added up over time. It allowed our family to explore the U.S. and take trips to places many people only dream of. My dad worked and sacrificed for us, even though we didn’t appreciate it at the time.

5:55 Has Arrived

There’s no doubt in my mind that my dad is a creature of habit. With a small amount of observation, it’s rather easy to discover his daily routines. He goes online to check the news every morning, always sits in the same spot, and watches the same shows in the same order every night. Granted, there are some variations to his routine, but the outline is generally the same.

HawaiiYet, despite his inclination for routine, my father is surprisingly unpredictable. It’s not uncommon for him to announce major life decisions out of the blue. Not only that, but he does so nonchalantly, so it’s hard to know if he’s being serious or not. Plus, he’s known to throw in an element of untruth along with the truth, which is both irritating and confusing.

On one such occasion, we were sitting at home, watching television and talking about work. In the midst of this mundane conversation, my dad decided to announce that he was quitting his job and moving us to Hawaii. Our excitement over the prospect of moving to Hawaii overshadowed the news about his job, so we were wholly focused on that aspect when we asked if he meant it. As casual as could be, he replied, “No, but I did quit my job.”

Waste Not, Want Not

This was not the only time my dad did something along these lines, and he still does it to this day. It’s in these moments that I realize how much more there is to my dad than meets the eye. He’s a complex individual, who keeps to himself and never flaunts his accomplishments. Rather, he downplays them and continues to strive toward a higher level of greatness.

This manifests itself in many ways, but the one that currently sticks out to me is his charity. Though you would never know it by simply interacting to him, my father is an incredibly generous person. He has given more than he has ever received and does so without asking for a thing in return.Father's Day

I don’t know for sure when I first became aware of his giving nature, but I know it wasn’t until I was at least in high school. My father made a private donation to help a priest from India get a foundation started that would allow girls to receive an education. The donation was listed with my father’s initials, which left some room for doubt, but made it clear to me who was behind it. Since then, I have discovered several other charitable acts that have astounded me and solidified my suspicions.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad

My dad and I are very similar people – cynical and sarcastic, with a dry sense of humor. He instilled in me a strong sense of values, a high level of independence (much to his own chagrin), and an insatiable curiosity. My father has given me everything, and though I might not always show it, I’m endlessly grateful. Happy Father’s Day, Dad, and thank you for all that you’ve done for me.

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2 Comments

  • Anonymous

    Wow what a great article, mostly accurate but I won’t quibble over it. I do know that my greatest joy in life is my children and they don’t come any better than my Emmy Lou who of course is now my favorite. Love you Emily and thank you for the tribute but don’t ever do it again.

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