Every child starts off thinking their fathers are heroes. They think their fathers are larger than life and have great power. And they always think that their fathers are good people. Until he screws it up by neglecting, losing authority and forgetting what heroes are supposed to do.
And what do heroes do exactly? They come to the rescue when they need to, of course! They mentor, train and are good examples. They bond with their children. That was the sermon I heard in church one Sunday and it brought my own dear father to mind. He is the best father any child could wish to have. He remains very much my hero, even now that I’m in my early 30s.
I can’t count the numerous times my father has come to my rescue. Once, in my teens, a boyfriend’s motorbike would not start. So I called home, woke my father up and he drove all the way to pick us up. It might have been embarrassing for the boy but he came to experience more heroic acts from my father and now has great respect for him too.
He is a great handyman. So any time a gadget stops functioning, I take it to him and he doesn’t mind spending a whole afternoon trying to fix it. He runs errands for me without complaining and drives me to the bank because he knows finding a parking spot is not easy.
He doesn’t do all this just because I’m the youngest and a girl – he does the same for so many other people. When my brother’s house alarm suddenly went off or if there is a leak in the ceiling, no prizes for guessing who would be there right away to check on it. He’s also the person my cousins and relatives come to when they need to be rescued!
In so many ways, my father sets the best example for me. The generosity he and my mom show amazes me all the time. He’s a gentleman. Every time we go out to eat, he’ll stand in line and order while mom and I sit and wait. He’ll peel the prawns and crabs for us. He’s also helpful and patient and loves my mom to bits. He doesn’t mind sending my mom to work even though she is capable of driving herself.
There are people who complain that they’d never travel with their parents. Well, I’m the opposite. I actually really enjoy their company and so we travel quite a bit together. If I am travelling with my own friends, my father sends me text messages to find out how we are and compare dinner menus to see who’s having a better time! Whenever I have friends over for a party, he lovingly helps me cook.
My father and I spend a lot of time together – watching TV, sharing a bowl of cendol, having lunch or going grocery shopping together. It is being a friend plus all the little things he does that make him so special to me.
But there are times when I take my father for granted and forgets how special he is. He has had to put up with my impatience and rudeness yet he still loves me unconditionally. I wish more people could say they had a good relationship with their fathers but the reality is that some just aren’t as fortunate as I am. I realise I am blessed and thank God for my parents every morning.
Just over a year ago my father had to be hospitalised. It was the scariest moment of my life. I simply cannot imagine life without him. It broke my heart to see him in the hospital bed. My father seemed so helpless then but he was still my hero nonetheless. God has been good and my father is well. He has never stopped being my hero.