As I have gotten older, I see the attributes that I have gained from both my parents, from the way I handle situations to the values I hold onto and, hopefully, that I have instilled in my own children.
When I was growing up, my parents worked multiple jobs, like many local families here in Hawaii, to provide for the family. They never complained when they sold fundraising tickets, attended our sports or buying that “special” pair of jeans I absolutely had to have. It wasn't until I had my own children that I gained new perspectives into what it means to love unconditionally, giving without thought of yourself.
It has made me appreciate both my parents, but on this Fathers Day, I want to especially acknowledge and honor my own dad. Through all the ups and downs of being a haole marrying into a Hawaiian family in the late 60s on Maui, he perservered. He valued and showed the value of family, raising me and my older brothers, even when cultural beliefs were unfamiliar. Even after my mom passed away, he helped me and my husband be present, daily, in my kids' lives, something that I enjoyed with my own grandparents.
I hope that when I look back on my life, that the choices and actions I made continue to honor the love, respect and appreciation that I have for him.
Hauʻoli lā makuakāne e kākou a pau.
[Papa is shown above with five of his grandchildren]