Yesterday, we celebrated Iz’s birthday with a party with family.  We had a pool party at my parent’s house and had over 25 people…all family….sing sweet birthday wishes for Iz.

Iz wanted hamburgers, hot dogs, and chips for her birthday feast.

I gladly obliged.

My Dad sent me a text Friday asking for my “list” of things I needed for the party.

I told him the food was taken care of…I just needed some hamburger meat and ice cream cups and we would be good to go!

I arrived to my parent’s house yesterday to get set up for Iz’s birthday.

Looking at the amount of food on the counter, in the sink, on the stove and ready to be grilled…I realized my Dad supersized the menu to fajitas and some Filipino food.

He also put together a sweet video of Iz for us to watch.  I was so surprised.  We all were.

But…I probably shouldn’t have been.

Because this is the kind of Dad I have.

You all know so much about Craig…and the kind of Dad he is.  Today…I’d like to meet my Dad.

To my kids…he’s Tatay.

He’s their Tatay…who holds them all them time even though his back is aching.

He’s their Tatay…who makes their favorite food no matter how tired he is.

He’s their Tatay…who happily grants any wish for ice cream or snocones.

He’s their Tatay…who cranks up the volume on the karaoke machine and lets them play on microphones and sound equipment that is probably more expensive than my mortgage.

He’s their Tatay…who loves them so much…so gives all he can…always.

He’s such a good man.

A really good man.

Not a man without faults….but a man who owns up to them.

Just a man who is good.  Honest.  Pure.  Hardworking.

He’s the man that raised me and my sisters when my mom was doing residency 8 hours away. Poor dude…raising 2 teenage girls and a pre-teen on his own…

At one point…he worked 3-4 jobs to provide for us…a bank job, Taco Bueno manager, Tom Thumb deli worker….and he did each job with pride, with honor…with integrity.

And yet…he still managed to make it to my school functions…cheerleading things…my sister’s high school stuff…all of it.

He let me make-up him, hairspray and bow him…

He gives so much…too much at times…of who he is.

His greatest fault…is that he won’t say “no.”  His heart is the size of the universe and he doesn’t like disappointing his wife and his kids…and his 8 grandkids. Kind of hard to even call that kind of trait a fault…

He is not just a good dad or grandfather….he’s a good brother and son.  He’s had to watch his Dad – my Tatay – suffer in his life as he buried 4 of his children.  My Dad had to be the strength for his dad during a time he wanted to mourn the loss of a brother or sister.

It’s just who my Dad is.

He’s the kind of parent I can only hope to be like….even if my likeness is only a fraction of what he is.

He makes me want to be a better daughter and a better mother…he makes me want to be a better wife…because he shows me in his selflessness…what love looks like in its most unconditional state.

I love you, Dad.  So proud to be your, Bulele.