Up until I was 21 years old, I was a true daddy’s girl. Every hardship, illness, and setback my parents were there to help me through everything. As I grew and gained independence, I met a man and was engaged in a semi-arranged match. Initially, after finding approval by both sides of our families we decided to arrange our marriage. Unfortunately, this guy was not as forthright as I had anticipated and after a series of eye-opening events, I ended the engagement. Thankfully these revelations came before marriage, but it didn’t come without a huge price.
During that trying time, my dad and I had a deep falling out, when looking back is a very raw and painful period. The entire situation was a dark and sad chapter. As more and more things came to light about this guy, I wasn’t sure what to believe. I chose to believe him over my dad who had the foresight to know after a few encounters, this person was not who we thought he was, and as the strict Pakistani father that he is, he gave me the ultimatum to end the engagement or I was going to be on my own without his support. I chose the guy, and with that decision, I closed the door on my dad and hurt him probably more than I ever thought possible. But I was a big girl, and I knew better, right? Wrong. I could not have been more wrong.
Choices and Consequences
But the damage from that decision was done and when all the chips fell and the engagement ended (my decision), he went back to teach in Jordan, I stayed in the USA, I was left to pick up the pieces of a terribly embarrassing and heartbreaking time. My parents separated and my mom came back with our family to take care of me in Wisconsin. The stress and anxiety of everything that happened took a toll on me and my illness attacked my body with a vengeance. My dad stayed in Texas dealing with his own obligations coming back and forth to spend time with us several times before deciding to finally stay.
During that year following this episode it was extremely awkward and uncomfortable to face my dad. Gone were those days where I could call him Daddy and be at ease like I always was. He didn’t talk to me the same way, he didn’t act the same way toward me and most of the time I just felt like a complete disappointment even though I know I wasn’t. One act did not define my entire relationship with my dad. But it is difficult to describe what it is like to be a Pakistani daughter to a dad that once looked at you with pride and now all you saw in his eyes was hurt and disappointment. We both had a lot of work to do to repair this relationship, but one thing I have learned from my dad is to not be afraid of doing hard work.
Things Take Time
Even if we struggled in those early days, the love between father and daughter was always strong. Slowly but surely (and with so much encouragement from my mother and brothers and sister-in-law) my dad and I began to repair and recover from this difficult time.
It happened gradually. Mending any relationship doesn’t happen overnight. Pretty soon we started joking again. Anyone who knows my dad, knows he is the master of the lame jokes. He isn’t funny AT ALL, but being not funny makes him so funny. He has this contagious laugh and when he laughs at his own bad jokes, you cannot help but laugh along too. Things became lighter, easier, and soon everything fell into place and we arrived where we needed to be. Now our relationship is stronger and better than ever.
It has been 5 years since that fated time. In 5 years, so many changes have taken place in our lives and my dad and I have been through a lot. Together we built YARNutopia.com. We collaborated to bring our videos to a channel on YouTube. We both share the same work ethic and understanding on what it takes to build a dream into reality. We also have developed a deeper understanding as father and daughter.
Although he is still a very strict, and a traditional Pakistani dad, he has loosened his grip and supports his children’s decisions and choices even if we don’t always see eye to eye. This understanding has led to a better relationship between us. Now that I am facing my future with Nate, I am grateful that this growth and understanding between my dad and me has allowed him to accept and love Nate so much, accept my decisions that are somewhat less than traditional, and support us as much as he has! Growing up between two cultures is a difficult challenge, and unless you have gone through it, most won’t understand. Together my dad and I have been working on finding an easy median. I think we have found that common ground. I am happy to say that all the difficulties of the past are gone and that having gone through it has made us stronger! Yarn really can help stitch together relationships!
Onward and Upward
Today, through all the ups and downs, we have arrived in a better place. With hard work, our loving and supportive family, better respecting one another, and the unending love between a daddy and his baby girl.
On this Father’s Day, there is so much I want to tell my dad. How can I put into words to express what all he means to me? How many times I wish I would have listened, how many times I needed him and he was there no matter what? How much I love him? I don’t think there are words to express that gratitude that exist in any language. Thank you for loving me through all the good and the bad times. Thank you for being as loving and protective as you are. Even if I rebel against it, I realize you only have my best interest at heart. Thank you for encouraging me to build YARNutopia and always being here to make our amazing videos. Thank you for it all. I would not be who I am without you by my side. A simple I love you doesn’t seem to be enough, but I will say it anyway. I love you, Daddy.
So please help join me in wishing my daddy and all the other great dads, step-dads, granddads, moms who fill the role of dads, foster dads, and anyone who is there for a child, Happy Father’s Day!