This Father’s Day, an open letter to the man who taught me what life is

As the world celebrates the greatness of fathers the world over, I’m taking a moment to thank you, dad, for being the best one I could have ever asked for.

This Father’s Day, an open letter to the man who taught me what life is

Dear Dad,

Every year on Father’s Day, while the rest of the world celebrates, I think of all the things I should say to you, but never do. So, today, I have decided that I want to take this opportunity to say the things I haven’t before. I may not be able to fully cover everything, but I’m going to give it a shot anyway, because you deserve to know what’s in my heart.

First of all, dad, I want to thank you for everything you’ve taught me- and I don’t just mean how to pass a math test without passing out. Thank you for teaching me the value of hard work and perseverance; I’m so blessed that you cultivated this “never give up” attitude in me, which has continued to help me succeed in life.

There were many times I didn’t understand why you were giving me a hard time, but I realise now that  it’s not easy being a father; it’s not easy explaining to your children that you want nothing but the best for them. I understand this so much better now that I have children of my own. I’m not saying you were right about everything- ordering mineral water at a restaurant is still not the worst thing in the world, dad- but you were right a lot more often than I admitted.

I also want to tell you how much I appreciate the sense of saving and financial prudence that you instilled in me; I must confess that as a child I always judged you for being reluctant to part with money over various things, but I understand now that those moments of instant gratification may have led to deprivation later on. If you had given in and bought every little thing I asked for every time we entered a store, I probably wouldn’t have appreciated the big things you finally gifted me.

I know I stayed away from the conversations you and mom had about investments, always using the, “I’m a kid!” line to excuse myself from the lectures, but I’m ready to join the conversation, now, dad.

More than anything, though, I’m so glad you taught me the importance of having a sense of humour, even in the darkest moments. I still recall when things would be terrible, but you’d have a smile and a corny joke ready and my tears would reluctantly turn into a teary smile and then an uncontrollable laugh. You will be happy to know that your grandchildren now roll their eyes at me and my jokes, but it always breaks the tension. Probably one of your greatest legacies, dad, is teaching me how to make my children smile.

Finally, I want to tell you that I will always be there for you. I know you have been afraid that I might be too busy with my own life to take care of you, but that will never happen. With every success I have in life, dad, I know that you played a part in it, with the decisions you made so many years ago to invest in my future, so I could always have the freedom to do the things I dreamed of, whether it was a world trip or the best education possible. The comfort you’ve given me to do the things I love is one I work hard every day to give my own kids.

Oh and dad, just one last thing: I know you’ve never worn the floral shirt we gave you last year on your birthday because there was never an occasion for it, so Nidhi and I decided we’d give you one. Enjoy your trip to Hawaii, dad. Make sure mom shops more for herself than for us. Oh and, I’ll be coming over tomorrow to teach you how to use your phone camera.

Love, forever, and more every day,

Your loving child.


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