Friday, June 3, 2011

Charlie

I have always been amazed by my father for as long as I can remember.  He was not an educated man but he was a very wise man.  Mechanic by trade, he was overly creative in everything that he did.  Not only handy with automobiles, but everything his hands touches transform into something useful and better.  Charlie was not a lazy man. He was a workaholic.  From morning 'til night he works and works and works.  What I loved best about my father is that and he was fearless when it comes to providing and protecting his children.  Our welfare was his first priority. 

With him being workaholic, it didn't stop him from making sure he has quality time with us children.  I remember movies on the weekends, swimming once or twice a week in the ocean and taking us for rides on his tractors and plows when he is working.  Childhood was exciting, fun and unforgettable.  He cooks, he cleans, he was a nurse when we were sick, he farms, he sings and he was a very happy man.  As a child I felt loved, protected and always happy when he is around.  He was a darn good provider for we never lacked for anything growing up in the island of Tonga.  We had everything.

His health brought him here to America.   Unfortunately, while staying here for medical reasons, my mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer followed immediately with a stroke.  They were uable to return to their beloved home so he is the main caretaker for my mother in my house now.  About a year ago he suffered a stroke himself.  It wasn't a serious one but it affected the right side of his body.  He gradually recovered but not completely.  Even with this, he still is able to take care of my mother.  Change her diapers daily, feed her 3 meals a day and cheers her up.  He is amazing and I have been blessed with a father like him. 

Charlie has bailed us out on so many occasions even with his disability.  He fixes things.  Lawnmowers, my dryer so we can wash and cut the grass.  He helps with gas when we run short of money.  He fix a little car up and sold it therefore enable us to pay electric bill that was about to be disconnected.  He gathers anything and everything that we don't use that has metal so we can go and weigh it for money.  Cardboard boxes for recycling.  I didn't know you can do this but still he knows more then I do.  He does not work but when families visit and give him money, he holds it to buy my mom's favorite food and also to help in what we run short with.  He never say no when I need to borrow money from him.  That's just the type of father he is.  Loving, giving and selflessly helpful.

I remember helping him to read when I was a little girl.  I couldn't understand how a grown man couldn't learn how to read.  Then I found out that my grandfather died leaving behind 11 children.  My father had to work at a very young age to help support the family.  That is why he didn't go to school and that's why he didn't learn how to read.  With his mechanical skills and knowledge, also, his persistence in trying to learn to read, he later became a teacher in the high school I attended.  Something short of a miracle since he was illiterate growing up.  I remember different types of fencing as I was growing up because he would build and strip our fences, from different types of plants to metal fences and wirefences.  He just won't rest until he comletes what it is he sets up to.  Even to building the biggest two-story home in our village.  I can't even do half the things my father has done in his life.

Charlie was a very firm yet gentle man.  He loved us and he loved my mother best.  He was perfect in my eyes until recenty at his old age, I notice, he too has flaws just like every other human being.  His goodness and sweetness outweighs his flaws and I love him so very much.  He wants to return with my mom to die in his home in Tonga.  I feel guilty that I can't even provide this wish for them.  I want to but financially unable to.  Perhaps one day, before they leave this world, I can provide this one last request and wish that they have.  I pray it wont' be too late by then.  Charlie is the best father ever.

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