As a little girl I would always cling to my fathers leg like a little monkey whenever he would leave for work. He would walk down the hallway to door with me hanging tight around his leg trying to stop him from leaving, but it was never enough to make him stay.
My dad was my very first love. I remember looking at him like he was a superhero. There was nothing he couldn’t do. Every night he would read me a bedtime story with such excitement and enthusiasm. He would leave a little light on and put on my favorite songs before kissing me goodnight. To this day I can’t fall asleep without hearing the sound of music. He would tell me silly stories about the turtles hiding in the subway tunnels and every time we went for a ride I would be glued to the window trying to get a glimpse of them.
Today, being older and wiser I realize my dad is another kind of hero. He’s not as invincible as I once thought he was. I’ve seen him cry and bleed. I’ve seen him with tubes coming out of his body hooked up to loud machines. I’ve seen him in more hospital beds than I care to count.
With time I’ve learned how vulnerable the human body can be. I’ve realized how fragile life is. But something that never ceases to amaze me is how strong our will to fight and survive is. If there’s anything my dad has taught me it’s to see the beauty in this world and the people around us. To cherish and appreciate Mother Nature and the very nature within ourselves. He’s taught me not in words, but in his own actions, to never give up even on days you’d rather check out far too soon. He’s been my source to endless love and emotional support even when he’s barely had the energy to stand up straight. The same man that used to make up stories about the glowing subway ninja turtles now tells me stories about the true love I deserve and awaits me when the time is right. I may not always agree with him on certain things, but who am I to argue with the smartest man I know. My guru, my teacher, my inspiration, my father.
I’m far too big now to hold on to my dads leg whenever I want him to stay with me, I might’ve outgrown the silly stories and bedtime fables. But never once did he stop being my superhero.