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    Posted May 31, 2012 by
    Locust Valley, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    What makes your Father's Day special?

    More from MasalaMama

    Daddy's Girl, Yes I am!


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     MasalaMama says her father and mother worked hard to provide their three children with a college education, "the biggest gift of all because no one can take that away from you." She is grateful to him for encouraging her to believe in herself, which is why she is pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming an author, now that her children are in school.
    - EGrinbergCNN, CNN iReport producer

    I’m a Daddy’s girl. Always have been. Always will be. My earliest memory of my dad is of man dressed in a suit who left early and came home late, always carrying a briefcase. Those were the days he worked all kinds of jobs to afford his Masters and provide for our family. Our connection began when I was a little girl. We both misplace things. Forget things. And we are the criers in the family. We are also known as the talkers. As far back as I can remember, Daddy has been a great storyteller. As a teenager, I used to giggle when he’d say the phrases, “to make a long story short” and “this is the cute part.” Because the story was rarely short and his “cute” part was a zesty combination of irony and humor. Here’s one: There was a young man who had never worked a day in his life. His father asked him to go out, find a job and bring back a five dollar bill to show his earnings of the day’s labor. The young man thought he was clever, so he went to his mother and asked for the money. She gave it to him. Then he played cards all day and in the evening returned to his father. “Here’s the money you asked me to show you,” he said proudly. “Throw it in the garbage.” An odd request, but the son complied and turned to leave his father. “Wait son. Work again tomorrow and bring me your earnings.” The next day, the son returned to his mother for more money. She told him to look elsewhere, so he asked his uncle. His uncle gave him the cash. The son spent the remainder of the day strolling around the city and returned in the evening to show his dad the money. “Throw it away,” his dad said again, and the son did. “Return tomorrow with your wages.” And so this went on for days until no one was left for the son to borrow from. At which point he panicked and searched the town over until he found a job cleaning the cages of chickens for a farmer. He worked in the hot sun all day, sweating and exhausted, and when the farmer handed him his wages, it was a meager one dollar bill. When he returned to his father and laid the money on the table, his dad said, “Throw it away.” “What?” The son protested. “How dare you ask me to throw away this money? I’ve worked eight hours in the heat of the day, breaking my back, warding off pecking chickens, and now you want me throw this away?” “Good.” The father smiled and patted his son. “Now you know the meaning of hard work and the value of money. Don’t throw away your money. And don’t ever throw away what you learned today.” My dad is the hardest working man I know. When he last visited us in New York, he fixed a door knob, rewired an outlet, and helped build a stairway to our zip-line platform. My favorite story is this one, because it reminds me of how much my dad loves me. “You see these five fingers on my hand?” Dad spreads his hand out so that none of his fingers touch each other. “Yes.” “None of them are alike.” “That’s true.” I affirm the obvious. “But if any one of them gets cut, they bleed the same. And they hurt the same. The same with my kids. You three are like the fingers on my hands. You are all different. But no matter what. If any one of you gets hurt, for me it’s the same. The pain I feel is the same. And I care about each of you the same.” My hubby reminds me of my dad. Both love to build things things. And both care deeply about relationships. Dad has cheered me on from the first day I boldly declared my hopes to be a writer, buying me my first laptop and printer. In that simple and generous act, he said to me, “You can be a writer! I believe in you.” He is also my sober reminder to never get caught up in my successes and to learn from my failures. He reminds me that I have much to learn and should never stop learning. He also says, “Good job!” often. Dad. You inspire me! As a parent who never gives up on his kids, as a spouse who works hard at his marriage, and as a friend who laughs and cries with me through life's ups and downs. You are my hero. I love you! www.insearchofwaterfalls.com

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