I spoke about my Dad on Mother’s Day, but Papa needs a post of his own for Father’s Day because he’s a special man who I love with all my heart.
My Dad is Dutch. He grew up in the Netherlands, in a quaint little town called Velp which is close to the German border. As a child during World War II, his family saw extremely hard times. Things were also tough for years after the war, but life for my Dad improved. He completed his education, married my Mum, had two children, lots of dogs, lived the expat life, and retired early. He spent forty years living in Yokohama, Hong Kong and Cape Town. He moved back to his home town of Velp in 2000 when my Mum passed away, and leads a happy and peaceful life there.
My Dad is an academic, global and cerebral man. A Chartered Accountant by profession and very precise with numbers, he as a keen eye for detail. He still completes his own tax returns! He is calm, careful, confident, loyal, gentle, generous, introverted, tactful, polite and patient. He is extremely charming, very smiley, fearlessly independent, and an absolute gentleman. Papa is the King of understatement and never exaggerates anything. In many ways, he is different to my fiery, street smart, intuitive, and fiercely protective mother. Opposites do attract, and their marriage worked.
I appreciate that Papa stays connected to the hard times his family experienced during the war. It’s why he’s awfully modest, humble, frugal and appreciative of the smallest things. It’s also made him tough, resourceful, very hard working, and tenacious. He seldom complains, simply getting on with it. He’s an incredible man and a role model to me.
I speak to Papa every morning at 8.30 a.m., and have since the day my Mum died. We are close. Up until two years ago, he regularly flew to Seattle. But at almost 85, understandably, he’s done with flying. There is nothing that makes my Dad happier than seeing his children, so I visit him regularly and we have a wonderful time together. The pics above are of my Dad, brother and me in Velp earlier this year. In true Dutch fashion, Papa likes wearing orange.
We treasure and celebrate the fathers who are with us, and fondly remember those who are absent, but who made a very positive difference. We at YLF wish you a happy Father’s Day.