My sister, Alexandria, recounted a story for the third time and threw up her hands in exasperation when I said I didn't understand. Jasmine, she said in a voice calmed after a deep breath, not every dad is like our dad. And that's when it finally clicked. I couldn't understand because I often presume every father is like my own.
Kind, patient, giving, loving, forgiving...
Once in college I called my dad from the emergency room of a hospital at 2 a.m. and asked for a ride home. When he picked me up, there was a bottle of orange juice and a bag of Chex mix on the passenger seat.
Once in junior high my father sat me down with a plate of food in front of him and told me to stop being afraid of eating. That one day, someone would find me beautiful and love me just the way I was.
Once in law school my dad delivered homemade burritos because I was too busy to cook for myself. Wrapped in two layers of foil.
When I search the depths of my soul, I see nothing but my father's core and his desperate attempts to be the dad he never had. I'm a better person because of his love and devotion. I hope one day he'll look at me and see his efforts weren't in vain.