Why Dads Are So Important

dad, dads, children, daughter, family, try, best, emptiness, best, share, world, ready, late, to, forgive, past, missed, survive, survived, characters, never, best, lucky, why, safe, sacrifice, daddy, important, why, role model, male, gender, present, absentFamilies come in all shapes and sizes. Some have one dad, some have two and some have none. Friends can sometimes become family and family are not always necessarily friends. I love all families and know many people have grown up with a lot of love while others had to grow up without it and do it fast.

I love listening to different stories about people’s upbringings because it provides a sense of context for their character. Some people choose to own their past as part of their framework, while others denounce it altogether and continually fight it.

I own my past, and my past and present consist of having a dad. Not just your average dad, literally the best dad. I know a lot of people say this, but I know I am right. He was and is always present in my life.

He was that dad that always meddled. The dad that met with all my teachers. The dad that was never really asleep at night because he wanted to make sure his family was safe at all times. The dad who sacrificed his everything for his family to live well. The dad who shared nothing about his job while he was home. The dad that read me a book every single night. The dad that was (and is still) the great Saint Nick every Christmas.

It hurts me when I hear some people never had a dad. Maybe it’s not even a dad they needed, but overall support and unconditional love from a good role model.

I am all about gender equality, but there is something to be said about male role models in general. They provide a certain sense of security and love I can’t really compare to anything else.

Either way, I want to thank all those dads out there who did and continue to do their best. Those dads that work overtime just to keep their family comfortable. Those dads that save up all their retirement money to help their children buy a house. Those dads who do homework with their kids even after a rough day at work. Those dads that put gas in their kid’s car. Those dads who look at their children like they are their biggest accomplishments. Those dads who adopted other people’s children as their own. Those dads who thought they weren’t ready for fatherhood but later realized it was actually their life calling.

And to those Dads who couldn’t or just weren’t ready to be present for their children: It is never too late. No matter the age, your kids needs you. No matter the circumstance, your kids will forgive you.

What I really want to let you know is that you missed out. Yes, you missed out on watching your children flourish. And although this is true, just know that most of us do the best we can with what we know at the time. Even if you didn’t, I have talked to your children. The void is still there and is still waiting to be filled. Yes, you might have seemed essential to their lives at some point but they survived without you. Wouldn’t it be nice to get to know who they became without you?

I always had a dad so I can’t speak for every circumstance, but I do know that there is a large number of people who grew up without a dad or anything resembling one. This made many people stronger and others a lot weaker. Whatever the case, I really hope more dads try to reach out to their estranged children and never stop.

I got lucky, but I still feel for those that feel an emptiness within their hearts. I wish I could just share my dad with the entire world but that goes hand in hand with my desire for world peace. Dads are important, if you happen to have kids, try your best to be one. You don’t have to be the very best dad, but at least try to be there.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

Why Thanksgiving is Pointless

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Most of us have our favorite holiday. Or we have the one that our family does “bigger” than the rest. People get together and show each other more love on these favorite holidays. Food is always the showstopper and family conversations fill up every room.

I like all holidays. From Easter to the 4th of July, I love dressing up and having any reason to celebrate. Not everyone can relate, but I have had a good time celebrating life every chance that I get.

Thanksgiving is different. There are no bunnies or Santa Clauses representing the day. With the exception of pilgrims and Indians, there really are no mascots. There are pumpkins involved as if Halloween was never forgotten. It’s all pretty confusing. It’s even gotten to the point where some people don’t even know the history behind it.

Thanksgiving is pretty pointless if you ask me. Who even likes pumpkin pie and turkey with mashed potatoes?  Why give thanks when life is so hard? Why surround yourself with people who just happen to share DNA with you? Why surround yourself with people who you have learned to call family?  Why celebrate a day whose message has gotten lost throughout the years?

I don’t know, but I sure love pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, and turkey. Above all, I love all my blood relatives and the many people who I’ve decided to call family throughout the years.

I can honestly say Thanksgiving is pointless because of the fact that I give thanks for all I have every single day. But I sure love having an excuse to come together to stuff our faces and talk about all that matters to us.

My family does Thanksgiving in a big way. It is probably the biggest holiday for us. We all get together and bring too much food so we can all go home with five extra plates in our hands. My cousins and I have always had fun sitting at the “kid” table while the adults talk about their own nonsense at the “adult” table.

This year I am thankful for more than ever. My mother is healthy after a difficult year. My sister made it to 21, and my Dad is loving the retired life. I have finally found my dream job, own a beautiful house and car, and recently got a baby Bengal kitten with my love. Not only that but the first book I helped write got published and printed this week!

I didn’t get here without being thankful for my blessings each day. Today is pointless but meaningful. It marks a great moment in time for me and my family. I am still growing up and am so thankful that my support system is alive and well. I have so much love in my life and heart that it hurts and things cannot get any better than this.

We must be thankful each day. We must regularly call our loved ones to just say, “I love you.” We must not judge those people or things that we do not understand. We must understand that with gratitude comes greatness. Life without gratitude can really be underwhelming. I choose to live a life full of meaning, gratitude, and love.

What do you choose to live by?

 

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

 

Why You Don’t Have To Like Me

like, me, why, mean, nice, respect, heart, humanity, demand, love, accept, journey, advice, life, success, relationships, grow, growth, 20s, 30s, learn, change,When I was younger, I always wanted to fit in. Like most other kids, I wanted to be accepted and liked. I wanted to have cool friends that I could always hang out with.

I never really fit in anywhere. My culturally diverse background left me neither here nor there. I was never white enough or Mexican enough. I still tried to fit in, though.

When I got to high school, I said F*** it. I am who I am, if people don’t like it then that’s too bad. So I became a mean girl. Why?  Well, because I just could.

I had awesome friends but I was never too awesome myself. I didn’t care about anything or anyone. I was bitter and angry at the world and my only friend was oftentimes music. Lyrics got me. Lyrics accepted me.

I learned to find the balance between being too nice and being too mean somewhere in my 20s. I am who I am. I am sarcastic but have learned to be sweeter. I am rude but have learned to be well-mannered, well, most of the time anyway.

Now that I am closer to 30 than I am to 20 I realize no one has to like me. Those that matter are simply three people, mom, dad and my sister. They’ll forever love me unconditionally. I can count my friends on one hand and life is awesome this way.

If you don’t know me yet, you don’t have to like me. I am very opinionated so I would honestly be surprised if you did learn to like me. I have a pure heart but it’s often very guarded. And with good reason. Like many people, I have been broken and I have put myself back together.

I don’t demand you like me but I do demand respect. I respect all people who have love in their hearts. Even if it is hidden, I respect you. I respect all people who have talent and who have a set of strong values like integrity. I even respect people who don’t know any better because they might be a product of circumstance.

If you and you hate my guts, that’s fine. Just show me respect to my face. Maybe you don’t like what I say or how I do, but what better reason to respect others than for their differences.

I have had many situations where I judge books by their covers. I mean, haven’t we all? I then find the humanity within their hearts and forget all ill-conceived notions.

I believe in mutual respect among all mankind. We are on a certain journey together and most of us are simply trying to make the best out of this fleeting moment we call life.

We don’t have to agree or understand those around us but I do think it is necessary to respect. Respect beliefs, respect views, respect space, respect possessions, respect journeys, respect cultures, respect differences. We don’t have to be best friends with our neighbors but mutual respect goes a very long way.

Choose love. Choose acceptance. Choose respect.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen