Krizza Ria Velasquez (pictured above leaning on the far right), a staff member of Outreach Philippines, maximized her opportunity to share some of her memories of her father and his impact on her life. We found it truly touching, and think it deserves a wider audience.
Your request for everyone to share the lessons their fathers taught them made me remember my dad, and how he taught me a love of storytelling. When my siblings and I were young, my parents could not afford to buy a television for the family. My two little brothers and I used to go to our neighbor’s house at night and watch television, patiently peeping at their window. Sometimes, the neighbor’s unkind daughter saw us and closed the window, leaving the three of us with no choice but to all head home and go to sleep.
My dad, upon realizing what we were up to, came up with something even better to entertain us. He invented a superhero named Simatar, who rode into battle on his sidekick, a white-winged horse. Simatar saved princesses from dragons, was a friend to elves and fairies, and helped feed a hungry, homeless old man.
I remember how we giggled every time he mimicked the voice of a witch, the neigh of a horse, or the sobs of a crying princess. He also told us about his own happy childhood memories; growing up alongside six siblings, how his parents worked hard to ensure that he had access to the education that they both lacked. His stories made us forget about the things we didn’t have, and inspired us to imagine things we could never have seen on a television screen. He made us realize how many things we did have, as a family.
My dear dad passed away in February, 2010. I passed on his stories to my little sister, who was only six years old when he died. I became a storyteller too! I use the the storytelling skills he instilled in me during church services, at the Sunday School classes that follow, at camps, and every other chance I get.
Happy Father’s Day to your dad!
Thanks for sharing, Krizza. We appreciate you.