Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Fathers, Daughters and Sons day

Of course every day is father’s day, but once you have your own nucleus of a family, father’s day becomes special. My father was very special to me and I am blessed with his infinite affection to last for my life time, and I deeply feel for those who did not have one.

There are many of us out there who grew up without a father, or if we had one, he was not there for us. I feel the pain and incompleteness one feels and I extend that fatherly affection to you, even if you don’t know me, I hope you feel the energy, I am with you. You are welcome to call me to chat for a few moments. This father’s day belongs to my kids and you; you could be of any age.

God (causer/creator/she/it) has programmed us to be adaptable, what we miss in a father, we may find in a Mother, an older brother, uncle or a friend. My heart goes out to those of you who have had an abusive father, and I want you to know that God may have appeared to be cruel to you at times, but you endured it and your rewards with the lord would be bountiful, spiritually you are ahead of most of us. Indeed, you are truly blessed by God to experience the pain just as Jesus had endured it for the humanity.

I am dedicating this write up to Maheen, Mina, Tamanna and Dadsky Blauvelt. Years ago, when Mina was a little girl, she had asked me, “Dad, why isn’t there a daughter’s day?” “Well, Sweetie here it is – your wish is fulfilled.” I’m calling it a Daughter’s day, and I am blessed to have three daughters; Jasmina, Maheen (Yasmeen’s daughter) and Tamanna (my Sister’s daughter).

It is not only a Daughter’s day it is a Son’s day as well, and I am pleased to honor my Son Jeff, who gives me tremendous joy – he learned to stand on his own feet and is fiercely independent and a free individual. Jeff and Mina have inspired me with their fresh perspectives on life, and thank God, together we have visited nearly all places of worship, we started mock debating on virtually every topic since they were five years old and have learned to find three different ways of saying things and understanding its impact. Mina read the Dale Carnegie’s book and summarized it for me; she’s got the essence of it.

Yasmeen, my wife raised her daughter Maheen entirely on her own since Maheen was two. Yasmeen is a mother, father, brother, uncle, aunt and a friend to Maheen. (Note for my new friends, Yasmeen and I just got married in March this year). And I know there are a lot of single mothers and fathers as well as father-mother teams who have raised their children well.

Dadsky Blauvelt and I have been friends for the last 33 years and it was his affection that brought me to the United States, thank you Dadsky, you’ve been a great fatherly friend to me.

My maternal Grandfather Hussain raised four boys and a girl after Grandmother had passed away, he was all that there was for them.

Prophet Muhammad was raised by his Grand father and later by his uncle Abu Talib, as his father Abdullah had passed away. My own father was raised entirely by his mother as his father was a victim of the world wide influenza epidemic around the WWI. Perhaps you know of friends who became father figures to kids upon the demise or separation of their fathers.

My friend Shariff raised his six sisters as a father figure and I am proud of him for the role he played in getting them education and facilitating them to stand on their own feet. Shariff, I am really proud of you son.

My father is my mentor; he swung open many doors of knowledge for me and opened my heart and the mind towards fellow beings. I am sharing a few memories of my father on this fathers’ day, hoping it would bring your own memories alive.

In my culture, the affection between any two people is expressed by doing things for each other. Although it has changed now, but there was a time we did not show the affection. It is not common for a father to kiss his son bye and I was not aware of it either at that time. I cannot forget his first and the last kiss on my forehead when I left home; he was emotional and so was I, I knew he loved me but that kiss put a seal on it.

He taught me the value of keeping one’s words; way back in the sixties, he agreed to sell our ranch to some one for 120,000 and announced it at the family dinner. My mother and I were upset because he was selling it for dirt cheap; within minutes his friends Silk Venkateshappa and Bellur Muniyappa converged on him and offered four times the cash. My stick-to-the-word adamant father did not budge; he kept saying “I have given my word”. He finally sold it to the guy for the agreed price and it took me years of maturity to understand the value of the word.

He used to say that he will earn for his family until his last breath and it was very painful for me that he did. On October 10, 1977 I left home to Saudi Arabia, I had accumulated some debt, and like all Indians at that time, I sent the monies to him. In the second month he had paid off my debt substantially including some to my friend Shariff who had loaned it to me. I asked him to get a new suit, a black suit that he had worn most of his life and was wearing out; he wrote back to me that he will do that once my debt is paid off. In the following month of December I sent the check with a note that “father the time to buy your suit is now”. It shattered me completely that he passed away without receiving the check. I wanted to do things for him and I could not, that left a huge vacuum for me, and till this day, I jump to serve any senior any time as a fulfillment of my own completeness. Years later, the life took a full turn, when my son Jeff insisted that he would pay for the lunch (at least I know Indian parents would not let that happen) I paused and then agreed I did not want to deprive him of doing things for me.

My father was always kind and gentle to me, he never screamed at me nor did he hit me except one time, when he gave me a hell of a good shaking, and I am glad he gave it, it changed my life. I was sitting on a bench in front of my house, I was probably ten or eleven years old at that time, a man was carrying a bag (100lbs) of rice on his bicycle and fell right in front my house, dead beat me was watching him struggle to get the bike up and place the bag on the bar. Through the corner of my eyes, I noticed that my father was coming about 150’ away, instinctively I noted that he started moving fast and I was alarmed that he was going to do something to me and I ran inside the house and climbed behind stacked up bags of rice, he walked over and pulled a long branch from the Mulberry tree and bam, he got me from afar. He shouted at me, “Abdul Rahman’s son will not sit there twiddling his thumbs when someone needs help.” Wow, since then, it is rare that I have not stopped to help any one any time. I want to be his son.

One of the most beautiful moments of father daughter relationship was between my Grand father and my mother. Every Wednesday morning he would be home straight from the mosque and sit with my mother and talk with her endlessly while making fruit juice, honey balls and other stuff for me and my siblings. Mother would talk with him for nearly three hours while flattening the dough and making chapattis (tortillas) and sautéing palaya (crushed potatoes). The idea was ingrained in me and I continued that Wednesday deal with my daughter for a few years and hope when she finishes her school and squares with life. God willing we hope to resume our Wednesday meetings. Mina even signed the deal on the back of my business card, Jeff, my son is an attorney and hope he will enforce the contract.

I remember when I visited my Dad’s grave with Jeff, I let myself loose and cried like a baby, he stood by me and I will cherish that moment till eternity.

I look up to a few individuals whom I admire and hope the river of blessings keeps flowing from them. Their humility and desire to serve the communities at large inspires me. I adore Shri D. D. Maini, Rev. Bill Mathews and Dr. Harbans Lal for their affection and commitment to serve humanity. Mr. Len Ellis has been a good brother to me whenever I needed direction he was there with me, Adil Khan’s brotherhood and friendship is a continued blessing in my life. Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk evokes a fatherly instinct in me when I see her commitment to serve mankind and I recall her affectionate words about her father Mr. Thompson.

Happy father’s day ya’ll.

Mike Ghouse
most of the pictures are at my profile)

I found this story today, sunday, June 20,2010


Father's Day: Celebrating Dad for 100 Years
Updated: 27 minutes ago
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Chris Epting ContributorAOL News

(June 19) -- You could call Sonora Smart Dodd the "Mother of Father's Day." After all, the holiday, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, was inspired by her. Dodd's mother died in 1898 during childbirth, leaving her father, William Jackson Smart, to raise Dodd and her five younger brothers (including the newborn baby) on a remote farm near Spokane, Wash. While attending a Mother's Day sermon in 1909, Dodd decided that fathers deserve the same recognition. Within a year, she -- along with some help from her pastor, the Rev. Conrad Bluhm, the Spokane YMCA and the Ministerial Alliance -- did it: June 19, 1910, was designated as the first Father's Day. Throughout Spokane that day, Sunday sermons were themed around the importance of fatherhood.

Spokane Regional CVB

Sonora Smart Dodd, the "Mother of Father's Day," which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.By 1924, the holiday had gained some national prominence. President Calvin Coolidge that year recognized Father's Day and made it known that he wanted more states to get involved.

In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed an order proclaiming the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. He even requested that flags on all government buildings be flown that day.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation permanently observing Father's Day on the third Sunday in June. And today, Father's Day is celebrated in over 50 countries around the globe on various days throughout the year. All because of a young girl who appreciated her dad's love and wanted to see his efforts acknowledged. William Jackson Smart died in 1919, so he got to celebrate 10 Father's Days with his grateful daughter. Throughout Spokane, events are planned to celebrate Father's Day, as they always are, but this year is special. Pam Scott, communication manager for the Spokane Regional Convention and Visitor's Bureau, told AOL News they are taking the centennial seriously."Father's Day is such a part of our history, and when you reach a milestone like this, it's a good opportunity to look back, reflect and leverage the history into a truly unforgettable celebration," Scott said."We have many special events planned, and locals and visitors alike are encouraged to take part in this special day. We even have Sonora Smart Dodd's granddaughter coming to Spokane from Vienna, Austria."Dads around Spokane will be toasted with Papa's Pale Ale, a specially crafted beer created by the brew master at Coeur d'Alene Brewing Company and Steam Plant Grill (available only in June this year).

Pictured is the Spokane, Wash., home of Sonora Smart Dodd, who was instrumental in establishing Father's Day 100 years ago.Plus, many events are planned, including tours of the historic Dodd home, a patriotic salute to Father's Day, a Daddy-Daughter Tea, a symphony concert and a historic Father's Day walking tour.Spokane is a city that proudly and enthusiastically wraps itself in its Father's Day history, providing just the right amounts of preservation and celebration. The city is also gracious when it comes to acknowledging the origin of another Father's Day landmark."Back in Fairmont, W.Va., they had a Father's Day in 1908, two years before ours," Scott said. "While it wasn't held regularly each year as Spokane's was, we still honor the sentiment of Grace Clayton."Clayton had suggested to the pastor of her church that they honor fathers after the nearby 1907 Monongah mine explosion, which killed more than 360 men -- 210 of them fathers. The church complied with Clayton's wishes and, as Scott points out, the holiday failed to gain the traction it did in Spokane. However, if you happen to be near the Central United Methodist Church in Fairmont on Sunday, know that they do a very nice Father's Day service -- right in the same place where the first ceremony was held.
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