Now that I’ve gotten a little older and have a child, I am beginning to realize how hard it is to be a parent. My daughter is only 10 months and there are moments where I don’t exactly know what to do and have to go with my gut instinct, so I can only imagine how it will be when she gets older. Through the experience of young adulthood, I have started to look back and truly appreciate the parents God blessed me with, especially my father.
February is the month of love and as I look back, my first love (as most daughters first loves are) was my father. I was (still am, don’t hate) always a daddy’s girl. My dad is the most hardworking man I have ever met (not saying there aren’t any other hard working daddies out there). Growing up, I saw my father work hard and struggle to get everything he has today. With that being said, here I am with an open love letter to the man who captured my heart from the day I was born.
To my father, or as I know him, Papi,
Thank you for the sacrifices you made throughout the years. You didn’t always have the right thing to say and you didn’t always know how to express all the love you felt in your heart for your children, but you tried in your own understanding. I admire that you always made sure your kids had what they needed, even when they weren’t doing things right. In my understanding as a daughter, I never understood why you helped your kids when they failed to do things right, whether it was obey you or obey the law, but now as an adult and as a child of God, I realize that that’s what God does with us. We fail God daily, we turn our backs on Him, we don’t talk to Him, but He’s always there when we need us and that’s what you portrayed as a father. When your kids turned their backs on you, you still loved (love) them with open arms.
I have never met a man who worked so hard for their family like you did throughout the years. You did it all. You worked hard during the day, went to school at night, and made sure to get me to church on Sundays, Wednesday nights, and Friday nights for youth service. You made sure that you instilled the value of a relationship with God in my life, the value of education, the value of obedience, and the value of submitting to authority. Little did I know in my younger years how valuable those lessons were in order to succeed, not only in the world, but also in our walk with Christ. We were always bumping heads because I was so disobedient and wanted to conform to the patterns of this world, but your prayers were heard and God convicted me everywhere I went and every decision I made.
I always saw you as the strongest man ever. You went through heartbreaks, disappointment from life, your children, and even a hard divorce, but I never saw you cry. You made sure to hold it together, so that you were able to provide stability and comfort for me. In your toughest moments of your life, you made sure to provide me with stability and made sure that I succeeded in whatever I set my mind to, whether it was academically or when I was playing basketball. You went through a tough divorce in the toughest time of my life, my preteen years. In your suffering, you still made sure I made it to basketball practices on time, you were at each and every one of my games, you made sure dinner was on the table, you made sure I had everything I needed for school, made sure I still kept up with my grades, and you were a pillar of strength for me. I know it wasn’t easy for you to be alone with a preteen daughter going through hormonal changes. I’m sorry that there were many times that I took you granted.
There were many times where I was more worried about who wasn’t in my life instead of appreciating the father that I did have in my life. I wasn’t that great of a help in your times of suffering and I’m sorry. I think there were just times that I was so caught up in myself and I saw you so strong that I would forget that you were human and suffered too. You suffered all the time and nobody ever knew how to console you. You suffered the pregnancy of a teen daughter, who was the light of your eyes, your first princess, you suffered the arrests of your first born, you suffered the rejection of your children, the loss of your older brother, the loss of your mother, the loss of a marriage you tried hard to save, all that aside from financial issues, health problems, and spiritual attacks from the enemy. You dealt with it alone most of the time because everyone saw the tough exterior and didn’t try to reach in and break the walls of hurt you had built up, until you met the woman God had for you, your ideal helper, Susy. Before that I feel like I failed you as a daughter and for that I am sorry. You reflected your hurt with anger, but we should’ve known that in the depths of your soul was a heart longing to be loved. However, now as an adult and as a mother, I thank you for being the tough and strict father you were and still are at times (since you still call me to yell at me for red light tickets ha, ha).
I’m sorry that I didn’t do things in the order you (and I) would’ve hoped for. I know your dreams for me were to finish school first, THEN get married, and THEN have a child, but as we know I had to learn a different way. However, thank God that He makes a message out of a mess. However, I’m grateful to God for allowing me to have the opportunity of having you in the room as I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I’m also eternally grateful to God that you were able to walk me down the aisle. Maybe it wasn’t done in the order we would’ve both hoped for, but it truly means the world to me that God allowed me to share the most important moments of my life with my first love.
I thank you for the five hour lectures (okay, maybe like 2-3 hours ha, ha) and for being strict. I thank you for constantly reminding me to seek God, to put Him first, and to live a life of obedience to Him. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for pushing me to better no matter what obstacles life threw at me because we are more than conquerors in Jesus. Thank you for sticking by my side and making sure that I always had everything I needed and wanted (because I was kind of a brat). Thank you for showing me the love of a father, not just through your love to me, but through the love you showed your other children. Thank you for pushing me to be better. Thank you for showing me the value of hard work and that when you set goals for yourself and work hard toward them, you can accomplish anything. You were able to go back to school, work full time, and finish school after already having a family to hold up. You were always the strict parent, but you always reminded me that God didn’t place you as my parent to be my friend, but to guide me through life. I used to always hate when you told me you aren’t going to last me all of my life, you don’t say it anymore, but I still hate the thought of it because I can’t picture my life without you (I still cry every time I think about it, as in, I’m crying as I type this).
My father, my first love, my forever love, I thank you. I honor you publicly because you deserve for the world to know that you were a father who gave it all for your kids within your understanding. You made mistakes along the way, but who hasn’t. I know as a parent I make mistakes all the time and as a daughter, I made endless amounts of mistakes. It isn’t about the amount of mistakes you make, but the amount of times you pick yourself back up and try again. You tried wholeheartedly to be a good example for your children. An example of perseverance, an example of God’s supernatural transformation because when you turned your life around, you stopped living a lifestyle of drinking and smoking, but started living for the Lord, an example of sacrifice, an example of how God has his arms open to us when we need Him, and above all an example of a father who loves his children.
You will forever be my hero. Heroes aren’t always perfect, but they strive to be better and that’s what I saw growing up. A man who worked hard to be better than his past. There were people who didn’t let go of who you were in the past and still judged you for it, but you withstood the judgment and the accusations and focused on being better. I will forever admire you for that also. I have no idea how you withstood all the people who spoke negatively, including family.
I love you forever, I love you for always.
Your ever so grateful daughter,
2 thoughts on “Love of a Daughter”
Eixa, thank you for sharing. As I write this to you I am crying bevausw I miss my daddy (he lives in PR) and I so long for a day that I get to lay on his lap. I diidnt have a relationship w him, he didnt know how to, he never had it so how is he going to know how to love or show it or even speak about it. Thank you again and hold on to your daddy, love on him and cherish him always. ❤