When was the last time I said "I love you" to my dad? Have I thanked him lately? How long has it been since I prayed for him? I don't know about you, but I personally ask myself these questions and sometimes I can't even answer them myself.
"Daddy, come eat!" Those were the words my twin sister and I would constantly say to the camera when we were only two years old. At that age, I didn't understand who I was talking to. My dad had gone to the United States for work, and my mother and sisters and I went to Mexico. We were without my dad for almost a year and during that time, my mom would record us and save those videos for my dad so he wouldn't miss out on all of our mischief. My little sister wasn't even a year old, but my twin sister and I were the stars of the home videos for our dad. There are so many videos and among them, my sister and I are singing, dancing, chasing the chickens, playing in the dirt, riding my uncle's donkey, preparing the food for our dad and telling him to come and eat and much more!
Although I love seeing my younger “me” in those videos, they also make me sad. It breaks my heart to see how we talked to our dad through a camera. I was so innocent. Obviously, my sister and I didn't understand why my dad wasn't there, but even under those circumstances, we were content with talking to him this way.
For a long time, I never understood the greatness in a sacrifice like the one my father made, but I finally understand that a father will always give his all in order to give his family the best. A father never stops fighting and he will sacrifice whatever it takes to assure his family moves forward.
Father's Day is around the corner and a lot of us find ourselves, again, confronting the dilemma of what to give such a special person. I finally realize that we will never have enough money to give our fathers a gift truly worthy of everything they do for us. In my case, despite all of the sacrifices my dad made for his family, he always asks for the same thing every year.
This year, don't stress looking for the perfect gift for your dad, because the best gift you could possibly give him, you won't find even in the most expensive of stores! This particular gift has no price tag, and still is the biggest and most special. This Father's Day, give him your time. A day with your father is worth more than any gift you could ever possibly get him. Never stop praying for him and thank God for allowing you another year by his side. How many people, who have no father, wouldn't give up just about anything for the blessing so many of us take for granted? Remember that the greatest things in life are free. "Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
Valeria Marquez works in the mission office in St. Columbans, Nebraska.