From generation to generation we pass on our most cherished core values and beliefs to our children. It's our legacy to our children; an intangible gift that we give with all of our heart.
Today's blog post is by my loving husband Martin. Here he writes about his dad.
What Would Dad Do?
by Martin Javier
My earliest childhood memories are very happy ones – family outings, good friends, and of course mom and dad. Dad was a strict parent by most standards, and certainly by the standards of our friends. Though regarded with great affection, dad commanded a certain respect that many other parents did not. I don’t know if it was because there were nine of us kids and dad had to run a tight ship, or because his countenance, though kind and often smiling, could still manage to convey a very no-nonsense attitude especially with us. Regardless the reason, dad’s reputation and standing in the community were beyond reproach.
That sentiment of esteem also carried over to us. Growing up, I could think of few worse feelings than disappointing him. Dad didn’t have a loud voice, in fact he is rather soft-spoken, but his directions and intent of his actions were always clear. Dad taught us what was important more by what he did than what he said. We treasure family time (perhaps more so now because we are so geographically scattered) because excursions to the beach and picnics at various cherry-blossom festivals were so fun. Being present for family dinners was a must because that meal was always an important one in our house. Perhaps most importantly, our faith was so ingrained, thankfully, by countless masses, rosaries, and visits to the Blessed Sacrament – all things valued by dad and mom.
Some years ago, during a family reunion, one of my brothers spoke about being a father. He said that when facing a problem with his kids, he would think about dad and ask himself, “What would dad do?” -- not because the issue at hand was so difficult, but because dad was such a positive influence, such a good example for us. Dad’s influence in our lives, from childhood on, is evident. I am sure, even without polling my siblings, that he remains such an influencing factor in so many of our decisions.
Now with a little boy of my own, and experiencing the challenges of parenthood firsthand, I am fortunate that I don’t have far to look to find a great role model – dad of course! As my dad celebrates his 106th birthday today, I can think of no better way to honor him than to follow the example that he has set all these years. If one day many years from now my son faces some challenge and thinks to himself, “What would dad do?”, then I believe that I will have succeeded. Happy, happy birthday dad!