Winds of Change:: How Love and Loss Made Me the Father I am Today

Father’s Day is just days away, and this week a few Houston dads have graciously contributed their thoughts on parenting. Today, Alejandro G., husband of Houston Moms Blog’s own contributor Maria, reflects on love, loss and how the winds of change in his own life made him the father he is today.


The Dads Take Over | Houston Moms Blog

How many of us remember the old song from Bob Seger “Against the Wind”?  Remember when Forrest Gump was running all over America with a bunch of people behind him not quite sure why he was doing it? “Against the Wind” was the song playing in the background during those scenes. As much as I liked it as part of the movie, the song took on new meaning for me when my dad became sick in the early 2000s and realized that the end of his life was at hand. I was in my mid-20s at the time and the winds of change were upon me.

When he passed, that wonderful song reminded me how I wanted to go against those winds of change to have one last moment with him no matter how short. Remember the scene at the end of “Field of Dreams” when Kevin Costner’s character {Ray Kinsella} finally understands the meaning of “…if you build it, he will come” is. Like most Hollywood endings, Ray Kinsella does finally get to have one last moment with his father at the end of the movie. It does not matter how many times I have seen it, I cry every time. It is an ending that all of us in the real world can only dream of.  I profoundly miss my father.  He was my dad, friend, counselor, and my truest exemplar.  I felt privileged and fortunate to have had him as long as I did, knowing that others were not as fortunate. Selfishly however, I simply was not ready for the winds of change to carry me into the next phase of my life. But change happened nonetheless.

That change came in the form of a wonderful woman that I met during this difficult time. Looking back, it seems that those winds of change blew at exactly the right time.  To my good fortune, this wonderful young woman named Maria, that was far too pretty and popular for the likes of me, agreed to marry me!  That moment was a catalyst for more change with the blessing of three wonderful boys and my introduction into fatherhood.

Fatherhood, this word, this ideal, represented everything I thought my father was, not me!  

Child's hand in adult hand

My dad in my mind represented everything a father should be; loving, kind, stern, caring, tough, gentle, hard-working.  Fatherhood represented him, not me!  Although I was filled with joy of having three beautiful children, I felt like I was not ready for this challenge.  I felt scared, anxious, nervous, and most of all — undeserving.  Then, like a cool gentle breeze, over time those winds of change began to sweep away the negative feelings about fatherhood.  I began to remember the lessons my father taught me:: how to ride a bike, to stand straight when someone is speaking to you, to stand firm against bullies, to be afraid without letting the fear overcome you, and how to love.  

I began to realize these lessons were his legacy.  His legacy that he left for me long after he was gone with the winds of change.  It was then that I truly accepted the gifts that my father left for me. Those feelings of nervousness, anxiety, and being undeserving began to be replaced with feelings of capacity, strength, confidence and most of all, being worthy. These are everything fatherhood should represent.  It is those gifts that I leave for my sons, along with a few others, long after the winds of change have swept me away.  

Winds of change with dandelion

 


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