42 years separate this image from today: the first Father’s Day gift I gave to my Dad. Which obviously means I am getting very old (since I am definitely not turning any wiser) and that today, 19th March 2016 is again Father’s Day.
So today I want to pay tribute to two of the many special men that are part of my life: my Father and the Father of my children. They are very different in the way they relate to their siblings but they have one very important thing in common: they are devoted and loving parents!
When a few days back my Father celebrated his birthday I went in search of photos we had together. That was when I found that special gem above. It was funny to see that in a world far from the digital era, photos were taken with precaution, meaning that I didn’t have hundreds of photos but some.
I obviously don’t have any memory of these first days but I am sure that the serenity, comfort and love I feel looking at this photo now is exactly the same I felt then.
What can I tell you about my Father? He is the most generous and kind hearted man I know. He is one of the hardest workers I know, someone you can always come to in a time of need. He would give his one bread to feed others if needed be. Yes, he is that special.
He is the rock in our Family alongside my Mother. He doesn’t speak much but his eyes say it all, his actions prove his worth. The stories I could tell you about the grandness of this man would make you shed the tears that are now rolling down my eyes. So many are witnesses and receivers of the simple gestures of his enormous heart!
He used to read me a bedtime story every night, from Anita’s books that I so loved and cherished. He would go and pick me and my brothers at lunch time from school. He was our guide during o’ so many hicking trips; with him we discovered the love for nature, the respect that we have to treat it with.
There are so many photos like this one! Me and my brother André in my Father’s lap! I look at that image and I immediately feel safe. Because that is another thing about my Father: we always felt and still feel safe with him. But I left the best for last! Because no man with a big heart can love little and if there is one thing I know is that the love he gave, gives and teaches us to give every day is the biggest there can be. And that is such a blessing!
So you see the stakes were set very high for me. To choose someone to spend your life with we is one thing but to choose someone to be the Father of your children is another.
This photo was taken, by chance or purpose on my wedding day and is one of my favorites. No need to explain why really. On that day we started a family of our own so much at the image of love my parents showed me.
And two years after that our family grew and our first child Luís was born, turning my husband into a Father. The Father of a small boy that couldn’t wait to be born. I think he knew how great his Father was. And what a trial those first months were to us as family, but to my husband in particular (let’s say that just for starters I had an appendicitis just 6 days after this photo was taken).
In years to come I am sure my children will write with pride about their Father. No one can replace or express such feelings but the receivers of it. So what can I say about this man? He would give his life for his children. He is always there for them, night or day. Not just for the fun part, the playing hours, the football games, but for everything! From nights without sleep to hospital stays. He suffers when they get hurt even if he doesn’t show it.
When Gonçalo came along and then Filipe, the three boys and their father formed a clan of their own. So yes our house became a little louder then before but also with a lot more love. Bedtime stories are still read at our house by this man; before he goes to bed he still goes to each room to see if they are safe.
The giggles, the football games, the lego buildings, the puzzles: all day to day things, that are apparently normal but that I know have been the best way to let our children see how much they are loved by their Father. Because the gift of time, of presence, of devotion, of care turns in nothing else but the gift of Love.
But I think nothing prepared this Father to the arrival of this little girl. It is funny to think that the first and the last of our children gave us quite a bit of scare when they were born. She is lucky to have a Daddy that puts bows in her hair, that plays with her endless hours, that let’s her play hairdresser on him…even if he has little hair.
Hands that protect. That is how I see, I feel, I witness these two Fathers. Everyday they give their lives for their children, thru sacrifice, hard work, struggles, example. As another father said this week, being a parent is the hardest task of all. Even if it is also the most rewarding.
So Dad and João Pedro, Happy Father’s Day, from the little girl to whom you will always be the hero and from the woman that is lucky to be the Mother of your children.
Porque a vida é uma história que vale a pena ser partilhada, obrigada por fazerem parte da minha! * Because Life is a story worth sharing, thank you for being part of mine!