Saturday, June 16, 2012

Life Lessons from my DAD... #FathersDay

A Father is all about Being There.  Unlike my biological father who ran away like a coward to surf the waves in Hawaii.  He said "good-bye" to me before I was even born, and I promise, he will never say "hello."

I consider myself one of the MOST luckiest girls in the world because it was by CHANCE that I was blessed with the most AMAZING father.

I am not one to brag but considering my fate when born, unwanted, with a foster mother, it is quite remarkable that I was CHOSEN and because of this event, my life was forever changed.

Happy Father's Day to all of you Dad's out there.  But who are you really???  You call yourself a DAD, a FATHER, a POP.  But tell me, please, do you deserve this title?  Being a Dad is a GIFT.

Who i am, a mere Mother??  I am by far, the PERFECT example, but I try hard.  I only ask you to do the same.

But what if you have only THE BEST to compare yourself too?? 

I get it.  Yes, a Father who gives endlessly, who never complains, who only wants to help, who is there for EVERYTHING!

My husband said he simply cannot do it.  He will NEVER, EVER be my Dad.

He is on a pedal stool.  But you only have to meet him once to understand how UNIQUE he is.  People remember him for his kindness, the ability to carve out time to simply ask "how are you?" TO REMEMBER YOUR NAME.  To give, to unconditionally love, to PROTECT your family, even if that means withholding information to protect YOUR feelings.

OK.  Yes, I wanted to order him a white and shining armour suit for Father's Day.  It is really the only appropriate gift.

My Father came into my life at 2 months of age.  Get comfortable, sit down.  I have life lessons that I want to share...

He scooped me up and never looked back.  He accepted me for who I am.  He never excluded me even when my two sisters were born.  In his eyes, we were always ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY of FIVE.

He even said I had "Grandpa Pope's eyes."  Silly Dad, I am not from THERE.  I am part Dutch and Spanish and my last name was supposed to be Sanchez.  But how quickly you forgot all that and you just ACCEPTED me into your family.

Did I mention how BLESSED I AM???

My dad has taught me so much about LIFE.  A huge part of who I am today is because of him. 

There is an old age argument about nature vs. nurture.  I am living proof of nurture.  Because of my Dad I am able to live life in a very unique way.  I am giving, accepting of other's faults, careful to pass judgement, supplying kindness to those who I encounter.  This was not innate.  This came from a role model who has always beeen Dad. 

Endless examples of his unselfishness, his willingness to give, his quench to make this world a better place without him even knowing it.  If I am able to do this, then I will consider myself a success.

Lesson One:  You begin with the person you are speaking to.  Be there entirely.  Hang on to every word.  Never look bored.  Consider them the most important person in the world.

Lesson Two:  It is NEVER about You.  The minute you think about how this will benefit "me" is when you have lost everything.

Lesson Three:  Pick your battles carefully.  In my short lifetime, I could have consulted many lawyers but because of my father's advice, I have been given insight and an understanding on what you must devote your energy towards.  If you fight every battle, then you have lost the energy to fight for the most important things in your life.

Lesson Four: Everyone is EQUAL.  Be Geniune.  My dad always knows everyone's name.  He always asks about you and family members.  He remembers the important things.  He is not trying to impress you.  It is because he truly cares. 

Lesson Five: Be Grateful. Growing up in a miltary family, we never lived in the biggest house or had the fanciest car but I never knew the difference.  If I expressed an interest in gymnastics or diving or modeling, my dad would find a way to make it work.  On the flip side, I would always know to consider each lesson "a gift." 

Lesson Six: Be Involved.  I still giggle about the mustache/motorcycle boy that I dated for a brief time in high school.  My dad nearly had a heart attack.  He always met EVERY one of my friends and whoever I was dating. He wanted last names, phone numbers and a time when I would be home.  This is why I am still here today. 

Lesson Seven: Be Happy.  Whatever life throws your way do not take it out on others.  Be appreciative of what you do have and call it a day.  Ugliness settles in the moment you decide your life is not enough to satisfy all that you want.

Lesson Eight:  Never Give up.  Strive to be appeciative while being productive.  My Dad always encouraged me to live out my dreams.  He believed in me and my sisters.  He made sure we had college funds.  He listened, even after my accident.  The world shut the door on me and told me to forget about college, to go home, and that I'd never go to grad school.  Because my Dad believed in me, I overcame amazing obstacles and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Creative Writing and a Master's Degree in Social Work.

Lesson Nine: Your friends are a part of who you are.  My dad always jokes with me that I have a hundred Best Friends.  The irony is that I learned from him that cultivating friendships is immensly important.  Each friend that I meet in this journey called "life" brings new meaning to my world.  I make huge efforts to stay in touch because I believe each friendship makes up a part of who I am and I am better person for knowing you.

Lesson Ten:  The Most Important one of all...LOVE Unconditionally.  Do I need to say More?  My Dad did this from the beginning and continues to do this today.  With his unconditional love, I have learned that, yes, we are human, and that yes, we can mess up but if you love me through the mess, I will ultimately be a better person.  This is because I have learned from my mistakes and realize I can only rise up, from unconditional love, instead of passing judgement, which is only a guarantee of falling down.

If I was not adopted, who knows who I would be, where I'd be, or what I would be doing with my life.  I am ever so thankful for my life circumstance, a moment of chance, that ultimately changed my fate and my very being.  I have been wrapped in unconditional love since two months of age and only want to give back to the world what my Dad shared with me.