I am a daddy's girl and proud of it! On this Father's Day I want to celebrate my father and share my admiration for the love he gave and sacrifice he made for our family over the years.
When my mom and dad got married, my father made the jump over the big blue ocean to move from Greece to Mississippi. That was a bit of a
culture shock to say the least. My brave father moved without knowing much English or a lot about the local culture of the place he was moving to. He left his mother and brother and the sea he grew up with to go to the flat, hot, humid, and deeply hospitable Mississippi Delta. He starting working in the family restaurant, where he learned a business and became a master chef.
My dad adapted to everything new to him like American football, hunting, and thick Southern accents. He picked up tennis and golf as and adult, and as a tennis player, he became ranked and competed successfully.
When I would come home from school, my dad would be taking a nap in his lounge chair before heading back to the restaurant to work the night shift. He put in split shifts for over 25 years, played sports, and participated in any other activities he could. He did all that and loved my mom, brother and me. It's something to stop and look at how my papa achieved work life balance. He's been an example in more ways than I knew while growing up.
Sometimes when I hang out with my parents now, they make me get a big smile on my face as they playfully argue about the traits I inherited from each of them. It makes me happy that my parents want to claim so much of me. Beyond physical characteristics, I inherited much of my dad's personality. He is very neat and organized and takes care of the details, just like me. We'll work on a project together and he'll get a twinkle in his eye and tell me he knows he can rust me to do it right, the way that he would.
He shows his pride for me, and I want to share my love and pride for my papa, Yianni, on this Father's Day. I love you, Dad!