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“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” – Jim Valvano. Source: NLG

If someone should ask me to summarize my father in one sentence, I would reply verbatim with the above Jim Valvano quote. Since my earliest memories, my father has always shown confidence but most importantly has taken the necessary steps at all costs to help me realize my dreams. I have taken this time to look back and relive the memories that I have with him and I have come to the conclusion that everything he did, everything he said, has molded me into the man I am today.

My father was born in Gomez Palacio, Mexico. He came to this country in the 1980s and like many people wanted to provide a better life for himself and his family. By the time I was born, he had already established a solid foundation for my brothers and I to enjoy a childhood he could only dream about. Growing up in this wonderful country it is easy to take things for granted and become obsessed with a materialistic lifestyle.

To my luck, anytime I would drift to those ways of thinking my father quickly brought my feet back to the ground and reminded me of how blessed I truly am.

There was a span of seven summers where our family would spend a week of our vacation living in the poverty stricken town where my father grew up.

My father would say he was doing it to teach us a lesson but I hated it, and I hated not being able to do the activities my friends were enjoying back home. Now that I am older and more mature (I would like to think I am) looking back to those dreadful “lessons” I am honored that my father took that route with us, and I had the opportunity to experience his childhood first hand. Today I enjoy giving back to the community. I capitalize on every opportunity presented to me, and I wouldn’t have the heart to do either of those things if it wasn’t for my father.

Every picture in this world has its own story, and you can attach a thousand words to it. The picture you see is my relationship with my father summarized in a 4 x 6 nutshell. My father has always been a step ahead to protect me; he has always held me by my arm and pushed my envelope. Yet, as he has done this he has never made it about himself, never taking over the moment and this is evident by only a fraction of his face making the picture.

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