Choosing my sons first name was easy as drawing a breath. My son will have the name of David, but we will be calling him by his middle name, to avoid any confusions. My husbands fathers name is David and my own father carries the same name. However there is a deeper a reason why I wanted to give baby boy the first name of David.
My father has been a constant presence in my life, one that has provided strength and reassurance, love and guidance, humor and encouragement. My dad hasn't been the perfect father, but he is the father that I needed in my life. He made mistakes, he is only human, but he always made sure that his daughters were taken care of. Dad always guided us to rely on our Heavenly Father, just as strongly and faithfully as he does. He loves deeply and loyally, and his family is his greatest accomplishment. Yet, he accomplished far more by being the man he is.
My dad was an immigrant, illegal at first, as many immigrants are, sadly. Yes, I know there is strong political views and arguments regarding these people, but let me tell you a true story of what an immigrant can really do.
My father was the second youngest of 12 children, his family was desperately poor, but still managed to survive. My grandparents did the best they could and provided their kids with food and shelter and the most basic of needs. My dad grew up sleeping on cowhides in a room with his brothers, having two pairs of pants that needed to last all year, and working from sunup to sundown on the family ranch. It was a difficult life at best, one that left little room for childhood. He was able to get some schooling, up to the fifth grade, which is more than most kids did in that area, yet his main duty was to contribute to family survival. With that responsibility weighing on him, he left home at the age of 12 to migrate to the United States.
Take a moment to digest this, how many 12 year old boys do you know, would leave hearth and home to confront the unknown of a new country, new language, and only knowing he MUST find work to help his family survive. I personally know none.
Dad migrated into Texas and joined the hundreds of workers that work on farms, ranches, and other menial jobs. He did back breaking work in cotton fields in Arizona, tomato and flower fields in California, he worked dangerous highways with truckers. He washed dishes for food, and slept on mountainsides for safety at night. He did the work that makes you invisible, work that we take for granted, work that many American teenagers would not “demean” themselves to take. Yet, my dad was grateful for this work, the meager salaries he made allowed him to provide for his siblings and parents back home. I cannot begin to convey the hardships, and struggles he faced everyday, but he did it because he knew that to get something better you had to work.
Eventually he was naturalized as a legal resident some years after arriving in Texas. My dad is now an American citizen he was so proud when he accomplished his dream and was finally granted citizenship in 2012. My dad,with his fifth grade education, the hardships he endured as a boy, his limitations of a new country, his lack of “connections” has accomplished more in his life than others who are born privileged. Dad has raised a family, has owned two very successful small businesses, has owned real estate, has lived his dream of air travel, has experienced life, has seen his daughters finish college, and masters degrees. All because he had the strength of character and soul to live his life as he did.
I PRAY that my son inherits some of these traits from his Abuelo, and I will do everything in my power to teach him the virtues of hard work, integrity, love, perseverance, ambition, and hunger for better things in life. Just like his Abuelo.I want my son to know that he comes from a heritage that believes in the strength of family love, hard work, humbleness of spirit, integrity, the need to provide for others, to love both the blessings and the hardships, and always remembering our Heavenly Father. As his Abuelo does, everyday, and every night.
I cannot begin to thank my father for what he has taught me in my life, but I can always honor him, and my grandparents, and generations before them by teaching my son the morals, and values that make us the people, the family, that we are.