Today is my dad's 53rd birthday, and since he isn't with us here in the Philippines (he's in Oman, by the way), I thought I'd give him a special post on my blog. Here goes.

Dearest Dad,

You are one of the greatest people I know, and that's not just because you're my dad. It's because of you being you. Ever since I was little, you taught me to be slow to anger and quick to listen, to respond to others with a Christ-like attitude, and to live a good, humble life. I've always seen you as a model because of the things you've taught me, and you've set an example through your words and actions.

People have come into our lives and have given you pain. Some have slandered your name and destroyed you in the eyes of others - some blatantly, some through whispers behind closed doors. You didn't take vengeance, and trusted God for comfort. You - we- know the truth, and God knows it just as much. Through your humble response to these accusations, I've come to realize God in different ways, and my faith has been deepened during the process as well.

Dad, you know me, and you know that I can't verbally say these words to you. But I can express myself through writing. Dad, thank you for always having an open heart, a heart which God continues to strengthen and speak through to others who have yet to know about him. Thank you for being the dad that you are - firm, but gentle and understanding.

Thank you dad for being my run-to when I feel bad about certain things and for letting me share things with you. Thank you for sharing your secrets with me too - I'll keep them secret until you feel it's time to let them go. Thank you dad for being there for me and JP, even though sometimes, our logic and reasoning are at fault. Thank you for the discipline and the loving hand you hold out to us when we need a reality check, or a simple pat on the back.

Thanks dad for supporting my dreams, even though sometimes, we can't afford to reach for them. Thank you for believing in the talents God has graced me with, and for motivating me to do the things I'm scared to do.

You may think this odd, and you may not even remember it, but I remember the day you talked to me about finding the right person God is preparing for me. You told me that the more mature I am in Christ, the better chances I have in letting God lead me to the right person. You said love as God's handiwork is like a dart hitting a dart board. The more I let God teach me and lead me in His ways, the more accurate I'll be able to hit a bulls-eye. Do you remember that dad? How a simple talk about deciding my course choice swerved to a talk about love? Thank you for sharing these things to me.

You've been the voice I've been hearing alongside God's loving nudges in the right direction for years now, and I wouldn't trade you for any treasure in this world. I'd rather be fatherless than not to have you as my dad. 

I joke around when I talk to you most of the time, but deep inside, I cherish the conversations we have, light or deep, and in my quiet moments with God, I recall your words. I often wonder if I can be as awesome as you as an adult, and I hope I can be. This may sound cheesy - can you imagine if I said all this to you personally? I think I'd be laughing (or crying even) before I ever reached the middle of this letter.

Technology has made way for us to talk each night, with mom and JP, and share the things that have happened during the day. Some nights are better than others, and I'm really thankful God has given us these resources. It's made our temporary separation easier to bear.

Thank you dad, for everything. I wouldn't be here without you and mom, and I thank you both so, so much for giving me and JP the life we have. Other families may have riches and grand houses, but we have wealth no one can ever take from us - God's presence in our lives. Our family is bonded in God's love, and I pray that with each year we spend with one another, we grow stronger as a family. God is the pillar of our family. As long as He stays the pillar and the foundation, no storm of any kind will shatter our peace. People may talk behind our backs, but God will shield us from their spite.

Oman is but a few minutes away from hearts that God bridges. 

We love you dad.
We miss you, and we can't wait until March!