This fathers day is a special one for me because I can call myself a father finally. For some the term father means nothing. Either because they never knew their father or if they did he was abusive in some form or fashion. Being a father doesn’t necessarily mean biological. It can be a man that mentored you like a father does or supports you like a father should.
I have been fortunate to have my father in my life. He has been a role model to me throughout my whole life. I only hope that I can be such an influence in my daughters life like my Father was to me.
I wrote a post a few years ago that talked about things that my father taught me. I’d like to revisit that post here today because a lot of the things I mention in it goes right along with Fathers Day. Here are a few things my father taught me over the years.
Its Ok To Cry
I think this is one of the most important lessons that my dad taught me. I had never seen him cry before until his brother passed away. I had always thought that men don’t cry because they have to be strong for the family. He was physically strong and was in the military so I saw him as being a GI Joe but my dad as well and that nothing could hurt him. In many ways by seeing him cry that day it let me know that it was ok to cry when the occasion called for it. Its healthy to let your emotions go especially when grieving the loss of a family member. Men must always be strong but sometimes its ok to let our guard down it only shows that we are only human.
My dad always had a job even if it was working in a fish factory. I remember him coming home smelling like fish guts and he just looked so tired every night. Even when he was sick he would push his way out of bed and go into work. He always had to make sure he provided for us and that we had food on the table and clothes on our back. We may not have always had the very best but we had what we needed. I remind myself of my dad a lot in that way. I rarely would take sick leave and tried every year to do better than the last even if I had to move to a new location. I set in my mind to be like dad and work hard so that I could give my family everything that they needed and even wanted to the best of my ability.
Respect, Honor, Strength
Being a military brat my father instilled in his children what is meant to be respectful , have strength and honor. We learned that respect may not always be returned to us but to still show respect. I learned that you must earn respect by your actions and words. Honor was another trait that he passed down. He always told us that what we did reflected on him as well and that we should always strive to bring honor to the Echevarria name. This way anytime someone heard our name they would automatically think of a respectable family. Don’t get me wrong there were times when I did not bring the family honor but we all make mistakes as kids. Now I strive to build up our name with honor. Strength refers to mental,spiritual, and physical strength. We grew up in a house of faith and he always pressed how important having God in our lives would be and that alone we were not strong but with God nothing could stand before us and prosper.
I learned how to be a good man because of my father. He never lied to us, never complained, never wavered in his duty of being a father to us and mentor. To this day I still call him and ask him for his advice. I will never forget what he did for us and what he gave up for us to be happy.
I hope this has jogged some memories for you on this fathers day. Think hard about some of the most important lessons your father or father figure taught you as you were growing up.
Thank you to Ariel Echevarria from Daddy Combat for this fun blog!
Ariel is an Air Force veteran of 12 years and still currently serving.