Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Apa

Nick and I have been thinking all week about what to get my dad for Father's Day.
What do you buy a guy who seems to have everything he needs and wants?
After contemplating for a while, I decided to write him a message on my blog.
So...this is kind of long, and you don't have to read it if you don't want to...
It's really meant for the man I call my "Apa".

Dear Apa,
It's impossible to think of gifts to buy you. I know you don't care what we get you, but I still have such a hard time finding that "perfect" gift for you. So this year, I decided to do something different. If I could describe you in one word, it would be "hardworking". There is no other word that sticks out in my mind like that word. It took me 27 years to figure it out, but I just realized the other day how hard your life has been so that your daughters (Lydia and I) could have everything we could ever want and more. There were so many other "easier" routes you could have taken in your life, but Lydia and I would have never lived the privileged life that we did. I thank God every single day that I had a father like you. In my eyes, you are a true success story of the "American Dream". You struggled, you worked hard, you triumphed, you fell, you picked yourself back did all of this without ever skipping a beat or letting it show on your face. You have always been the strong face of our family, even when times were tough. You woke up every day, went to work, rain or shine, problems or no problems. Your main priority in life was to make sure that we (Lydia and I) had the absolute best in everything. I hated piano, but you paid for the best piano teachers money had to offer...I hated violin, and you bought me the best violin money could buy (even though my technical skills didn't even match up to the quality of instrument you bought me)...and I hated Kumon, but at 27 years old, I still go back to what I learned in those Kumon classes when it comes to a simple math problem. I am SO grateful that I have those talents...because YOU pushed me to my potential. I plan on raising my own child like that....with firmness, discipline, and I will demand of her nothing but excellence. I refuse to raise a mediocre child, and I thank you for giving me that outlook on parenthood. Despite your insane working hours, and the tireless efforts you put into our family business to make it successful, you never missed a dance recital, a piano recital, violin recital, or an orchestra concert. You were there smiling and proud...even when I felt I didn't do my best. You're not an affectionate person, but I know now that you showed your love through your actions and hard work to provide for me. 
With all of that said, the thing that I MOST admire about you, is your selflessness and devotion to God and family. If you were down to your last penny in your bank account, but a stranger would starve, you'd give your last penny to that stranger to buy a meal. You think about yourself last...always. I've never in my entire life met anyone that selfless. I wish more people were like you.
I know our relationship has had its ups and DOWNS, but in the end, you've stuck around. You've always supported me, even when you didn't agree with my decisions, and you have let me grow on my own. You let me fall and learn from my own mistakes. You have never left me, when I'm sure there were times you didn't want to ever speak to me again. That's how I know you love me.
Thank you for being the father that you are and a father that I admire. I learned in church today that the biggest compliment you can give your father is to tell them you want to be like them. I want to be like you. I want to love God like you do, and I want to work hard like you did to make sure my family is successful. Thank you for being a father to Nick and stepping in as his "dad". Thank you for treating him like your son, and never thinking twice about it. You're the father he never had, and you're the father I hope he will be to Dannika.

Happy Father's Day, Apa!

We love you! 

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