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My Dad Is My Hero

"Life takes a bit of time and a lot of relationship" - "The Shack"

I don't believe that soul mates are necessarily the ones we are meant to marry. Sometimes it is the ones we are born to, or a friend or a sibling. For me, I believe it is my Dad.

My father has been a quiet inspiration. He has brought me laughter, and has shared with me the gift of compassion through his examples. He always made me feel heard and I always found him to be fair. 

A few years back I almost lost my Dad when he was hospitalized with bacterial meningitis. It was the scariest time of my life. Although I felt in my heart that my Dad knew that I loved him, I was angry that I couldn't remember the last time I told him. I begged and pleaded for another "awake" moment with Dad and vowed that if I were given it, I would never taken another moment for granted.

My wish was granted. I've always been very spiritual, but not very religious. Dad was very dogmatic and this was where we would always butt heads. I read a book called "The Shack." I loved it so much and was so inspired by its message that I had a friend of mine from Lisbon send me a Portuguese version for my dad to read. Dad flew through the book, and we connected on a new level having shared such a special treasure. We still talk about it today and it will live in me forever.

Over the years, I have watched my Dad go from the always active, hardworking man, with a fast gait, to a grey-haired man, with pain in his knees, walking at a much slower pace, still trying his best to stay active, but visibly limited. Today, Dad made an unscheduled visit at my house. He said it was unexpected and had he realized he was coming by, he would have brought something he made me. I looked at my mom as she smiled and said, "He's been working very hard." 

Ok, so now I'm curious, so on my way home from the market about an hour after he left, I stopped by Dad's and there waiting for me was a bird house he had made to look  just like my house. I love it. I smiled, thanked my Dad and as I drove away, quietly said to myself, "Please God, don't let this be a parting gift." I always get nervous at unexpected visits and gifts ever since my father-in-law passed away (a story for another day). I then smiled because I remembered the book and what it taught me.

I realized that the fear I had those years back of not remembering the last time I told my dad that I loved him was silly. My Dad knows I love him, just as I know he loves me. We know by the little things we do and say every day. We know by the phone call or email that says "Hey, I thought of you today" or the unscheduled visit just to say hello. 

And should we be nearing the end of our journey in this life together, I know without a shadow of a doubt that behind that waterfall, just like in "The Shack," I will see Dad and everyone I have ever loved and lost. That truth makes my life a little sweeter and a lot less scary. I will put up my birdhouse in my favorite garden and smile every time I look at it. It will serve as a constant reminder of how loved and how blessed I am. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Paula Durette May 26, 2011 at 11:49 AM
Okay thanks Marti. Now I am crying. Beautiful sentiment.
mom23 May 26, 2011 at 12:31 PM
This is so true....When my dad passed suddenly, I did beat myself up for not kissing him good bye on a regular basis (especially the last time). I realize now that thats not what we were about- that we had a great dinner & talked football and enjoyed the kids. If i had a chance to say goodbye again, I dont think I would change it.
Marti Monteiro May 26, 2011 at 01:14 PM
I want to take a second to first thank you, who post on this wall, and also to all of you (my shy ones) ;) who send me Facebook messages. You inspire me, more with your kind words then I could ever dream to inspire you. Many blessings to you all!
Jen McCaffery May 26, 2011 at 01:44 PM
We've added a link to "The Shack" to Marti's post in case anyone is interested in finding out more about the book. I'm including it here as well: http://www.amazon.com/Shack-Wm-Paul-Young/dp/160941411X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1306416440&sr=1-1
Stephanie Petropoulos May 26, 2011 at 01:53 PM
I don't know my Father, never met him because he and my Mom divorced before I was born. I can only WISH he would be like your Father, kind, loving, good -hearted .
julie May 26, 2011 at 01:57 PM
This writing is truly beautiful and inspiring. It made me think of my own relationship with God, which sometimes, during difficult times of fear and doubt, leaves you to question and challenge whether that unconditional and constant love exists. This writing is a beautiful reminder of the intense and passionate love between Fathers and daughters, both on the earthly and spiritual level!
Tonya Borello May 26, 2011 at 02:26 PM
and here I sit crying, and ordering myself a copy of said book. Great Job Marti. Thank you for your inspiration.
Lmanchester May 26, 2011 at 08:55 PM
Julie: you took the words right out of my mouth. Marti- this is a beautiful article, I almost feel like your gift is 'wasted' among some of the other more tasteless 'blogs' I have read here. Reach out and find your audience, you have a gift. You inspire and give hope.
Bridget Faria May 27, 2011 at 01:47 AM
Well Marti, I think you have found your calling. As I read this story I couldnt help but think about how wonderfully strong and awesome you are. How every day amongst the aggravation of work you had this honest yet really funny way of voicing the truth. I love that! You are my personal Oprah. I love her honesty and have enjoyed watching her grow and share her aha moments with the rest of us. You help me have aha moments. You help me remember to be thankful and to realize that I have all that I need in this life; my family and my friends. Thank you for that. Thank you for sharing your dad with us. You are blessed. Hugs
Marti Monteiro May 27, 2011 at 12:11 PM
Bridget! It's great to hear from you. Thank you for your comments. I often think of you and the girls and wonder how you all are doing. I miss you. I am happy to hear you are doing well. You are right, all you need are family and friends. They are God's greatest gift to us!!! I am blessed because of people like you that i have had the pleasure of meeting in this life!! Thank you again for your comments! xoxoxox
Kevin Oliver May 27, 2011 at 01:34 PM
Marti, I too have a fabulous relationship with my father who tried his hardest to teach me the ways of the world. I learned alot from my father and if you ask anyone who knows us.I am a chip off the old block. Your story was beautiful and reminded me of my younger day in Rehoboth when he would teach me how to be a farmer. God if video was ever shot of those days.... America's Funniest Video would be filled with footage of him and I.
Marti Monteiro November 10, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Happy birthday to my Hero.. <3
Sandra M November 10, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Marti you are amazing ! You always inspire me and remind me of the important things in life . I enjoy reading your blogs and Facebook posts so much . Congratulations to you and your family on Joel's win . East providence is so lucky . Wishing your dad a happy birthday . Thank you ...
Marti Monteiro November 10, 2012 at 03:58 PM
THANK YOU SANDRA! <3

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