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Loving The Imperfect Dad


This blog is written in memory of my dad, on Father's Day. I'm thinking and loving you dad.

I was his little girl who used to squeal every time i heard his car pull up the driveway everyday he returned from work. He was my daddy whose arms would open wide, to catch me as i ran and jump towards him, and I would give him his '15 minutes of fame'. We played and teased like two monkeys, and I so wished those moments would last forever. I didn't have a doubt, love ruled our home, it was to me the most beautiful thing. If there were problems, i had no clue. I was either too naïve and too happy. What a wonderful bubble. Little did i know, that was what it would turn out to be...something fragile, like a balloon that could 'burst' right in your face, and leave you shocked, if not broken. I didn't see it coming, the 'bombshell' that would hit our home so hard. It would change the landscape of our lives forever.

Mom and dad were the picture of the perfect couple. I remember the many evenings in our family room, watching them dance to their favorite romantic tune, playing on the stereo. I don't recall any fights between them. I knew their hands were full, managing a big home with seven mischiefs. But, mom was the perfectionist, impeccable homemaker, the original 'Martha Stewart'. She was sargent of arms, disciplinarian, 'superwoman', who ran our home like a well paid CEO/CFO. A respectable and elegant woman, a talented pianist, she was admired in the community. She was a real gem. She didn't deserve to be betrayed, and to be hurt by the one and only man she loved and completely trusted. But, it happened, to our tragedy. Dad's indiscretion, and the extent of it would be so devastating, the damage of his action much too deep.

Fallen Man

Dad was the handsomest, debonaire, smart, articulate, and the most generous. He left nothing unturned when it came to pampering us, with life's fineries. Notably successful, influential, he had many friends, from various parts of the world. I met many of them on social occasions, with dinner parties at our home. A church pillar as well, many times he stood in podiums and gave impressive speeches, i was in awe. But, i especially adored him when it was just him singing and i playing the piano in our living room. A man of books, we shared a love for literature and writing. His library was my favorite room, and his big armchair was my refuge. I knew dad wasn't perfect. I used to get upset with him for being too busy, and for not being around enough. He worked hard and traveled a lot. I didn't like it either, when he would lose his temper, and take it out on my brothers. It would be hard for them to forgive, and even forget.

The brilliant businessman who took pride in his remarkable achievements; the man who built an enterprise from ground up, and became a business celebrity; the husband and father who gave his family the 'charmed life' had fallen hard from grace. It felt like heaven shut every favor on the face of a son that had committed murder. Why dad, who had it so good, could compromise himself, and anger God. It seemed that way. The high and mighty, my hero, the orator who could deliver the most convincing message on integrity and success, wow a crowd, was damned and scorned. He would become 'persona non grata' in his own home. He became jinx, 'bad luck', cursed, hated, and unwanted. Bitterness and gloom would hover over our broken lives for a long long time.

The Prodigal Dad

It would take almost eternity for our family to pick up the pieces, and move on. Sadly, we still find ourselves struggling, even with the new generation, the hurts show up. Dad became an outcast, treated like the plague, untouchable, almost reduced to a 'nobody'. It was very painful to watch him, whenever the family gathered. He was hardly welcomed, just tolerated. My heart went out to him, and i tried to remain a loving and respectful child. I understood the coldness and the lingering anger, only an act of God could change.

A tragic figure, still i felt i owe my father much. He had invested in my life, when i hardly had anything to invest in his. I see who i am, and i know dad is in me in so many ways. He didn't hate us, nor did he intend to be cruel. He was weak, and gave in to temptations, common to flawed men. I have too many beautiful memories of him, much more that outweighs all his sins. I will hold and cherish everything that my dad did for me, and made me to be. I value those times when he used to pick me up from school and drive me to the town's best pastry shop. There he would let me go crazy pointing to my favorite bread and desserts to bring home. It was also a place where we met and teased with his business buddies. I knew he was proud of me. Then, there was the grocery store where he let me buy comic books i enjoyed. I was his little princess, who felt loved and valued, and he was my knight dad. I grew up, and dad grew old, and he remained my closest ally. Years went by, and time did heal. He went to his grave at peace. Mom forgave him before he passed on. I know she forgave him, even belfore that.

I have one dad. To me, he is the greatest dad.

How true Daddy's words were when he said: "All children must look after their own upbringing." Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands- Anne Frank

Father & Son


Sylvia Van Velzer (author) from Hawaii on May 31, 2009:

Words of wisdom from the wise and beloved Wilde. Thanks LondonGirl!

LondonGirl from London on May 31, 2009:

A lovely hub - I really enjoyed this. It reminded me of the Oscar Wilde line, "Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them."

Sylvia Van Velzer (author) from Hawaii on May 31, 2009:

So sweet of you Dottie. You are so perceptive.I could still be living with guilt if my dad and i did not have 'closure'. Sad to say, i cannot say that the rest of us have done the same. Blessings!

Dottie1 from MA, USA on May 31, 2009:

It was good that you could see through the criticism and remain true to yourself. Forgiving Dad is also about forgiving yourself which you did beautifully.

Sylvia Van Velzer (author) from Hawaii on May 31, 2009:

Thank you Michelle. Forgiving dad took a long time for most of us. My love for him prevailed, and it was easier for us to move forward with our relationship. I had no regrets, esp when he passed on. Forgiveness is difficult, but very liberating. Writing about the family sins may seem tacky for others, but these personal experiences are too valuable, and i'm hoping it can minister to a reader, and to me, as a writer. My gratis!

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on May 31, 2009:

Hi Island Voice, I was quiet after reading your hub and reflecting about how love is expressed and manifested in many ways. By the way you wrote this hub, you have come a long way. I rejoice in the knowing that you have been able to move past the hurt and the pain to forgiveness and in the end, choosing to love. Yes many will not understand that. Thank you for sharing. I am inspired by it. :-)

Love and light,


Sylvia Van Velzer (author) from Hawaii on May 30, 2009:

Thanks Dottie! The good outweighed the bad, but not everyone will see it that way. I was in fact criticized for 'caring' for the old man, so there was a lot of pressure too.

Innovator820: Thanks for your kind words.

Innovator820 from Back After Being Lost For A Year! on May 30, 2009:

Beautifully and honestly written. Thank you for sharing!

Dottie1 from MA, USA on May 30, 2009:

Forgiveness is never an easy thing to do but you found it in your heart through the many things that your Dad had done right. Beautiful tribute. I'm sure he's proud!

Sylvia Van Velzer (author) from Hawaii on May 30, 2009:

SEM Pro: This writing was a result of a very strong inner 'urging', perhaps in my continuing journey of catharsis. I guess i was missing dad a lot too. I wished that everyone had forgiven him, but i'm not so sure. Unconditional love is never easy to give. Thanks for your kind words.

Feline Prophet: Yes, there's no 'mold' to make perfect dads. Look at us? Everyone will make mistakes, some bigger than others. Helen Keller was right, fathers can only guide us, but as children we must chart our own lives. Thanks for appreciating.

Feline Prophet on May 30, 2009:

Very touching tribute to your father IV. I guess there can really be no set rules for fatherhood...each has to find what works for him and his children.

SEM Pro from North America on May 30, 2009:

Beautifully written IslandVoice! I too have been working on writing about the joys and lessons my father taught - a side we often forget to share. The memories of them are honored in our minds, our love for them fills our hearts for eternity. I am so glad you let your love guide you and have no doubt he knew how unconditional yours was/is. Thank you for this heartfelt gift to us all.

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