This year, Father’s Day is a difficult one for me.
I lost my father to COVID on 15th February 2021. He and my mom both contracted COVID, and I was on the other side of the planet in Malaysia, trying to figure out if and how I could get back to support them. Through obtaining special permission to fly via Tokyo to Dallas in the worst winter storm Texas has seen in my lifetime, I arrived a day before my father passed away.
The next days were a painful blur. At the same time, I am grateful I could be there with my mom (who has since recovered), my brother and extended family to pay my last respects and honour my dad’s life.
Even though this year is painful, I wanted to highlight the different types of fathers, and share more about my father with you as we approach Father’s Day.
My dad loved to play.
I enjoyed looking through old photographs, watching him sliding down a slide with kids while in his police uniform - with a smile that could light up a room.
When I was a child, he used to sit in the floor with me and play dolls. He couldn’t believe my Barbies weren’t wearing underwear, so one day he cut up balloons to make sure they were decent for their next play date. That same dad became a PawPaw, and despite two knee replacements and a hip replacement, he still tried his best to get down on the floor and play with his grandchildren.
My dad loved to serve.
He was instrumental to bring anti-drug and anti-violence campaigns to the city I grew up in as a law enforcement officer. He also served his church as a deacon and was instrumental in setting up the Guatemala medical outreach programs.
My dad loved his country.
He was a US marine and always taught my brother and me to respect leadership and be proud of our heritage. In fact, his most recent gift for Christmas from my brother and his family was a flag pole.
My dad loved his family.
My mom and dad often worked a second job, yet never missed a school or sporting event of mine. This is the part where I tell you my mom is the most loyal partner and friend to support and love him for 51 years - what a role model.
They attended countless sporting events for my nieces, and traveled several times to visit my family in Malaysia. He once even brought over a Santa Claus costume and made a debut at our Christmas party so friends in Malaysia could get “the full effect.” We drove down the streets in Kuala Lumpur with him shouting “ho, ho, ho” to everyone we passed. Can you even imagine?!
My dad loved God.
Whenever I would tell him about a problem in my life or ask his advice, he would always encourage me to pray about it. I have vivid memories as a child of kneeling with my brother at the foot of their bed to say our prayers together before going to bed. While at the time we kneeled begrudgingly, that consistency has lead me to my knees often as an adult and the values I am teaching my own children.
My Dad always reminded me God is good even if He doesn’t always do things our way. And it was his love for God that impacted me in a very profound way so as to begin a life of living internationally with the conviction that this blessing of a faith we were given was also given to bless others. He is part of my journey in founding Batik Boutique.
I know I was fortunate to have one of the most amazing men in my life for so long. And I will continue to live out this legacy of faith, family and fun.
There is just no one like my Daddy. So in honour of him this Father’s Day, celebrate your unique dad, give him an extra hug or call, and do something good for someone else.
Happy Father’s Day from me and the team at Batik Boutique.