Every evening, as I am doing my schoolwork in my room, the
familiar sound of my father's car reaches my ears. I imagine his Fort
Cortina coming up the driveway, the engine purring to a stop. I know
that in a few moments, my father will be pausing outside my door,
looking in quietly, so as not to stir me from my concentration. I know
he will feel pleased as he watches me studying.
My father, at 53 years, has thinning hair swept back from his
forehead. He has a slim and athletic body. His broad shoulders and
rather serious demeanor give him an air of authority. Yet, behind his
steel-rimmed glasses are soft, kind eyes.
My father has always been my source of encouragement. When I
was very young, he would take a book from our small home library and
read aloud to me every night. Secure and loved, on his lap, I was
introduced to the fascinating realm of books. He would read stories and
parables from the Bible. Thus, he instilled in me a sense of God's
presence in this world.
I remember how, as he was reading, my father would point out the
spelling of words. Then one day, he instructed me to read the words for
myself. To our shared delight, I found that I was able to do so. From
that day onwards, I was the one who would read aloud, with his gentle
correction every now and then. Soon after that, I was picking up the
hooks and reading them on my own. I became quite a bookworm.
As I grew into boyhood, my bookish ways and disinterest in
outdoor games made me overweight, clumsy and rather unfit. One day,
my father stood observing me as I was running to a field, just 50 yards
away. I arrived there, huffing and puffing. Worriedly, he told me that he
would not like to see his son grow up into an unhealthy man.
From that day onwards, he started to take me on jogs. At first, I was
a most reluctant jogger. However, these days, as I stand perched on the
peak of Mount Kina, breathing deeply after a good run, I remember his
words, "A healthy body breeds a healthy mind."
My father has a store of wise sayings which may seem common to
some but always strike the correct note with me. Once, when I was
really depressed, he put an arm around my shoulders and gently asked
me what was troubling me. Lifting my bowed head, I poured out my
heart's discontent. After listening, he consoled me. Then he said,
"Smile, and the world around you will smile." Somehow, I was able to
smile in spite of my problems.
At another time, when I was about to give up on a task, he advised
me, "If a job deserves to be done, it deserves to be done well."
Somehow, his words gave me the strength to try again, and I was able
to succeed. Since then, whenever I feel daunted by a task, his advice
always comes to mind and this spurs me on to persevere.
Looking back, I realize that every step of the way, through my
childhood and adolescence, my father has been there for me whenever
I needed him. When I was sick, he would rush me to the doctor. When
I was sick at heart, he would know just the right things to say. In any
kind of trouble, I would just have to give him a call. He would surely be
I am only a few years away from adulthood and know that many
more challenges lie ahead of me. However, I can be sure that my father
will be there, looking out for me all the way. Why? Because he loves me.