The gift of growing up with a father

My father, my brother and I. I grew up with a father.

This seems to be a gift and a privilege and it has given a blessing that unfortunately, many children will never receive. As I think of my father, I get soft and sentimental because I always wish for his strength, long for his approval, and cherish his care.


I broke my arm. So I was taken to the hospital. For some reason, they want me to stay the night. I only get one parent as a caregiver and they ask me for my choice. I consider the matter and make my choice. I want mi papa to stay with me. I feel very delighted at my choice because I will spend the whole day and whole night with my dad. The day and night went on and neither were very eventful but it did not matter. Yes, I had a bit of bone issue, but I was safe and my father sat beside me.

The strength of my father would keep me safe, no matter broken arms.


I am wretched in the bathroom with tears. An unpleasant phone call, the most recent of many over the last few weeks, has shattered me. I cry and cry and the sorrow in my heart only increases. I am in absolute desperation. In the middle of my shame and pain as I face the consequences of indulging in youthful lusts, I begin to long for my father’s presence. Our apartment is small so I know he is not far, I can hear him in the kitchen. He can hear me too. My desire is made heard.

I cry wretchedly, “Dad!!...”

He rushes into the bathroom and sits beside me. I fall into his arms. I begin to yell and hurt incoherently, saying everything and nothing. He really could not say much in the face of this outburst, but there he is, listening. Knowing the pain. Empathizing in a deep way because the sins his son suffering over, were also a part of his past. After our tears are exhausted, we talk then pray and understand.

The care he shows me midst of my shame, speaks to me of the care of my Father. After a moment, we leave the bathroom and go out to eat the meal my mother made for us.


We are going West. My parents did not want me to drive the 3,000 miles from Minnesota to Oregon by myself so my father is driving me. I did not sleep much in the days leading up to the trip so I struggle to stay awake. The drive will not be easy because we will go through some interesting mountain passes. My father is guiding me to the place where I will take on my first adult ministerial job and I sit there beside him, falling asleep. I want to help. I want to drive.

I want to be strong like him and let him enjoy the passenger seat while he watches his son drive the car he prepared for him.


I have enjoyed the presence of my father, cried in my father’s arms, and been led by him into my adult ministry life. His active presence has shaped me in countless ways and I could not imagine what my life would be like without him.

Api, te extraño, te quiero, y te doy gracias por ser parte de mi vida.