We all have superheroes in our lives. Just recently, I watched Iron Man III and who wouldn’t love him?! He is cool, amazing, exciting and funny. Majority of us do like him, don’t we?
But in real life, who would you consider your hero or heroes?
Besides our national heroes and other distinguished people who contributed so much for our country and our world, I’m sure many of us would agree that one of them is called Dad, Papa, Tatay (father), whatever you call him.
I don’t call my father that way at all (I’d rather not tell you how I call him, you’d laugh!). But lately, I have realized how much of a hero he really has been to me all these years.
When I was a young girl, I thought we were really rich. He always bought me food, especially different types of delicious bread which I brought to school for my snack. Aside from that, he gave me lots of coins whenever I cried for losing a pet. When I went home very late, I’d find him waiting on the street to fetch me. In the morning when I went to school, and even when I was already working, he’d see me off, rain or shine. He could do everything and fix anything. What’s more, he could even create and invent things using limited resources! And more than any of these, he taught us values in life. He taught us to help people without asking for anything in return.
But last year, my father suffered from heart ailment. Thank God he survived, but many things have changed.
The man who could do anything is not allowed to carry heavy things anymore. Now, he can only do simple tasks, because of his heart problem. His hands have become shaky and there are times when he drops whatever it is he is holding. It took some time to accept that my hero has become sickly and weak.
Are you experiencing the same situation with your father? Sooner or later, our fathers (and mothers) will grow old and weak. They won’t be here forever. So now that we still have them in our lives, we should remember—it’s payback time.
It means understanding their situation and being patient with them, the way they were so patient with us when they were bringing us up. Likewise, it means being there for them all the time, giving them support; giving them joy and contentment the way they did all they could to make us happy, and to provide us a better future. It means being strong for them now that they are getting old. It means loving them with all our hearts.
I realized that real heroes don’t have to be strong all the time. It is really what they have instilled in us that matters the most. As for my father, I can never forget the story that my mother told me, that when he found a bag filled with thousands of money in it, he was not even tempted to get even a little amount; he looked for its owner instead. I owe him (and my mother) everything, especially for who and what I am today.