(A tribute to my Father)
I am truly blessed for having you as my father. You left a godly legacy that provided a good
foundation for my own journey in life.
Growing up with eight siblings of different personalities and idiosyncrasies can be chaotic at
times. But I remember what you would always tell us - “love one another.” We learned not to let
our differences keep us apart. You also showed us how to love sacrificially. Supporting a big
family is not an easy task. You worked very hard to provide for our needs, to put food on the
table and to send us to school. You always reminded us that though you and Mom may not be able
to give us material wealth as inheritance, you would give us something better - an education. And
you did. You would always give us what we needed, even if it meant having to do without yourself.
In my early
years as a full-time worker in the ministry, you did something that forever engraved in my
heart what sacrificial love is all about. You were then recovering from something that
affected your lungs. Being a retiree, you needed all the money you had for your medicine as
well as oxygen. After learning about how I didn’t receive regular paychecks, but lived off of what
other people actually gave (those who pledged to give support for the ministry), you chose to
give me your medicine money instead. My heart was torn between accepting the love gift you
offered and insisting you needed it yourself. “God will provide for my needs,” you assured me.
So, I accepted your gift, for I realized that giving brought you much joy, and I didn’t
have the heart to take that joy away from you.
Other memories that left an indelible mark on me are those times you neither accepted bribes
nor yielded to pressure. I can still remember the many visitors we used to have at home.
They were rich parents offering money, gifts, even a car just for you to give a passing grade
for their children in your classes, so they would graduate from High School. For a family
struggling with finances, I'm sure their offers were very tempting. But they would always leave with a negative
answer, for you lived by the code that “to live with honor is better than wealth.” It is also
from your example that I learned to value hard work, pursue excellence and never stop
learning. I also witnessed how you showed respect and kindness to those who have less in life.
As a Principal, you made it a point to always greet and call the security guards and janitors
by their names. You were never in a hurry to leave, and always took time to talk to them, and to share
some jokes. Your genuine interest and care for others touched not only their lives but mine as well.
Most people saw you as a strict parent, a disciplinarian, and that is true. But you
also showed us another side of you that I truly enjoyed and now miss. You liked having “fun time” with
us. Memories of you playing and laughing with us will forever be treasured.
Dad, I am so proud to have you as a father. You are not perfect or always right; but you would be
the first to admit that. However, for me, you are great! Even after twelve years since you went home
to be with our Lord, I still miss you. It seems silly, but I picture you in the heavenlies cheering
me on as I continue on my own journey in life.
I LOVE YOU DAD!
[ by: Maureen Tatham, © 2005, (neeruam2000 @ hotmail.com) -- from: Maureen Tatham ]