When I was young, my father always reminds my mother that her daughters need to learn to stand on their own because in time they will have to raise their own families too. We, the daughters, need to learn how to sew, to cook, to wash and iron clothes, to clean the house, to wash the dishes, and a lot more other stuff. He insisted we finish college, earn a degree and get a good job. He wanted us to be ready in life when we need to stand on our own two feet. It's as if quoting Dr. Seuss, "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." He would always tell us "You're not imbecile! You are educated women. Nobody should ever fool you."
I usually take his words of wisdom for granted. When he and my mother would tell us to be thankful that we're usually given what we wanted, I would answer them that it's just right because it's their duty as parents to me (and to my sisters). Now that I'm a parent too, I wanted to take back all the things I said to them before. They say you only appreciate your parents so much when you become a parent yourself. I think they're right. Now, I'm able to appreciate more the things he says. Ironic it may seem, I think I have a closer relationship with my father now that we're far apart than when I was still living with them. He misses home so much (he's in the US) that's why when he's free he would connect with us through Skype. He loves seeing my daughters when he calls, trying to be the best cyber grandpa he can be. He cyber coos my 1 month baby and asks my 2 year-old daughter to cyber mano to him. I think he's trying to make up for those times he wasn't able to be with us because of his job. And now that he doesn't need to work hard as he had to before, he would like to spend time with the kids even if it's just through Skype.
When it comes to love, I remember him saying through phone, "I'm still your father. As much as possible, I don't want to see my daughters get hurt." He's not a very sentimental kind of person. But I'm saving this to my heart.
Advance happy father's day!