Left: Youth reporter Gabby Morales (second from the left) stands with both her parents and younger sister during a special occasion. While he may not always be around, Gabby says she knows her father is doing what he must to help her family.
By Gabriela Morales
The narrative around immigrants is that they are criminals, drug dealers, rapists, and thieves. I have to disagree because my father, an immigrant from Mexico, is more than all these offensive stereotypes.
My father is a hard-working, respectful and honest man, who left his home in search of a better future for his family. He might not be a superhero, celebrity, or someone prominent but to me, he is the most important man in this world. He’s my inspiration and backbone–the person I most look up to.
Most people my age have the privilege of spending a lot of quality time with their fathers but unfortunately, that is not my case
It’s not because my dad doesn’t want to hang out with me or because we’re separated, it’s because my dad is often away at work.
Sometimes I am selfish and wish my dad could always be with me physically, but I know that is impossible.
For the last 27 years he has worked as a truck driver and field worker for the same company. There are times when I don’t see him for days. He is often consumed in work in order to provide for us; a humble family of five.
I used to resent my dad for not being around as much. However, now that I am older, I realize my dad is the reason my family is well–even if that means he cannot be present at important family functions
I know he’s sacrificed a lot for the sake of my family and I admire him for that. I haven grown up with everything I’ve ever needed. I have never worried about my family’s finances or gone hungry. My dad has always found a way to take care of us.
I am also aware working in the fields is difficult. It saddens me to know my dad labors in the scorching hot sun in a hundred and something degree weather. While I worry about his health and safety, ironically he worries about me.
I often ask him, “Porque trabajas tanto dad?” Why do you work so much dad? His answer is always the same, “ Because I would like to change the future for my children. So they don’t have to work in the fields and can have something better.”
To all you young people feeling abandoned or forgotten by your fathers, remember that actions truly do speak louder than words. Our dads wake up at 4 a.m. everyday because they love us.
Our dads have to miss birthdays and schools events, because they care for us. Our fathers spend long hours at work in order to provide for us.
This father’s day remember everything your father does for you. Honor him for his actions and remind him with words how much he means to you.