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It was Father’s Day today in Canada. Earlier in the week, I searched hard for a father’s day card that would reflect my relationship with my father. I had a hard time choosing. There is lots of cheese stuff out there, fun stuff, daddy as a guardian angel stuff, daddy’s daughter stuff, but nothing would reflect my relationship with my father. My father and I connected in deeper levels, not just doing together stuff levels. We were like thinkers kind of stuff. I do my own thing, you do your own thing, I am reading sitting on this couch and you read on that couch. As long as mom brought us food on the couches, we were happy to be in our own worlds. My mom often broke that silence, trying to say something or engage into any conversation and we instantly will shush her. Ah, but if it was about philosophy, mathematics, science or aliens (LOL) that’s when my dad and I would start talking and talking non-stop until we hear some dishes banging in the sink.

Anyhow, I decided that instead of a card I just print that beautiful poem of Rudyard Kipling “If.” Before giving it to my dad I thought I would read this poem to someone else just to sort of see the reaction it would make on older people. Well, as I was reading the poem all I heard from this person was “that’s right. That’s exactly what I do too. Yes me too I am very patient, I sure hold on.” Then the last comment was, “That’s right, you need to be patient and endure all the pain until the time is right and you will win everything back.” And that’s when I threw that poem away.

You see, my dad never taught me to win the world. He sure taught me humility but not that way, not in a planned and calculated way. My dad taught me to be spontaneous and passionate instead, and do things just because I loved doing. We never talked about winning in life, more of not catching any attention from communists I would say. We lived in Albania for most of our lives, until I turned 30, and Albania was under a dictatorship communist regime until I was 22. My dad’s father was executed by communists when my dad was three years old. So, I did not need any more attention on me. From my dad I learned to live in the moment. We never made long plans and I always wondered was this a bad thing or a good thing? We learned to just enjoy life and be grateful that we were still sleeping in our own beds instead of those horrible concentrated camps that some of my relatives unfortunately experienced.

As my dad did not promise me the world, he never prepared me to win anything either. I would be blaming my father right now that he did not teach me how to fight or be patient. All that my father taught me is to appreciate life. I was born because my father appreciated life. Thank goodness I was not just a random accident. From then on my father taught me to follow my heart not because of winnings and rewards but only if I wanted to do so, for the sake of living not for the sake of winning.

And so today I gave my dad a random card and a big hug full of appreciation for teaching me to appreciate life and to love from the heart.

Happy Father’s day to all fathers who teach their children to be true to their hearts.

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