This is a day late, but we just celebrated Father’s Day and it was a great one! Father’s don’t get enough recognition, but they deserve it as well. My father isn’t a man of many words, but we know he loves us by his actions. Let me tell you a little about my dad.
My dad moved to the US when he was 21 years old. He was dating my mom at the time, but the opportunity arose to come to the US for a chance at a better life. He packed up and left everything he knew and flew here from the Philippines with his mother and 2 younger sisters. Since then, my dad had to go straight to work to be the “breadwinner” for his mother and sisters. His parents were divorced and didn’t have much contact with his own father before he left, so he ended up being the head of the household at 21 years of age. My dad had many dreams. He wanted to go to school and join the military, but couldn’t do it because he had to make a living and support his mom and sisters. 5 years later, my mom and I (I was 3 at the time) arrived in the US. Since then, it has been a struggle for both parents trying to make a living, but they made it work.
My dad went through numerous jobs, found one he loved, but got laid off after 17 years to people who had degrees. He was at his lowest, but he picked himself back up and knew that sulking wasn’t going to do anything. He found a full time job months after his lay off and was getting paid significantly less, nonetheless, it was still a job. A short amount of time later, he found another job. Before we knew it, he was working 2 jobs, putting in 16 hours some days, 60+ hours per week, working 7 days a week. Yes, no days off. He would sleep 3-4 hours in between shifts and do it all over again. He never complained, but we knew he was tired because he would use up his PTO, not to go on vacation, but to rest and catch up on sleep.
Recently, I had a talk with him and told him that since I’m getting married soon and Raf and I will be contributing to rent, if it would be possible to cut some days off of work so he can catch a break. I told him how we know he’s not getting any younger and that we are worried about his overall health. I told him that my siblings and I are working professionals now and that we have the means to help out. He agreed and was able to negotiate a schedule with one of his jobs. He was able to cut back his hours, but still works 7 days a week. Although it doesn’t sound like much, he is now able to work less double shifts, which is the hardest for him. That means, instead of working 3, 16 hour days, he now works 1. It’s a start, and I am praying that eventually he will be able to quit one of his jobs and allow himself to have full days off.
I owe a lot of my success to my father. We didn’t have the best relationship growing up. We clashed and fought a lot, but as the years went by, we began to understand each other. I will never be able to repay him for all the sacrifices he made for our family. He paved the way for us and allowed us to be ourselves, chase our dreams, and live comfortably doing so. We were fortunate this year because Sundays are one of the days he was able to have off from one of his jobs, and Father’s Day falls on a Sunday so we were able to celebrate with him because of his new schedule change. My siblings and I decided to throw him a little BBQ and it was a success! My dad was happy and so were our tummies 🙂