“Jake, it’s your turn,” said his classroom teacher. The entire class was assigned to speak about their parents.

“I have no mother and my father is an engineer of designing the most elaborate roads and bridges,” said Jake. Though it seemed impressive to the class, in truth he told a lie.

Jake was ashamed of his father and very poor. Living in a materialistic world where one is judged based on what one owns,­­ Jake tried constantly to fit in. His father worked two jobs – one in construction and the other as a janitor.

“Hey champ,” said his father entering the house at 6 o’clock in the afternoon after working for 10 hours. Jake’s father immediately went to sleep for at 9 p.m. began his 6 hour night-shift. After that his work began again at 9 a.m. at the construction site. This was the gruelling schedule of his father’s work timetable.

“Dad, I need the new phone the Universe 10.”

“But son didn’t I just buy for you the Universe 9 not so long ago?”

“Yeah well my friends are all getting that phone,” said Jake in justification of why he wanted that phone.

“Fine you’ll get it. Anything for you, son,” replied his father.

Jake’s father had been only 20 years old when Jake was born, though a kind man at heart he needed to sacrifice the next 16 years of his life in working. Jake’s mother, after seeing that Jake’s father was unlikely to become affluent due to him getting a minimal paying job, abandoned them.

Never did his father regret having a child at a young age, he just wished to be the father he never had. Jake’s father always ensured that all his frustrations and problems be left at the door. He never once used alcohol and smoking to ease the stress in his life. Instead all he did was pray every day. In truth, Jake’s father made their living very pleasurable. Unbeknownst to his immature mind, Jake was very fortunate to have such a father.

“Did you see the new basketball shoes on sale?” asked one of Jake’s friends. Each one was continuously competing with the other one, simply as a means of trying to simply be “cool” in society. Once again, Jake made a mental note of what he needed to get in order to fit in.

That night he waited for his father’s arrival back home. Hearing the door knock Jake rushed forward to open it.

“Dad I need….” He paused as he stared at his Aunty Thelma.

“Jake dear, please come with me. Your father is in the hospital,” was all his aunty Thelma could say as she began crying. The drive to the hospital was numbing for Jake who was kept in the dark over his aunt’s reluctance to give further details.

Entering the hospital Jake was introduced to Doctor Irving who was assigned to the care of his father.

“Young man, your father has suffered from extreme fatigue and sleep deprivation. Rest assured, no fatal signs are visible as yet. However, with the rate your father’s going, he could die,” mentioned Doctor Irving who, being a busy man, tried to summarise the entire situation of Jake’s father.

Jake breathed a sigh of relief more pleasurable than any other he had ever breathed before. Accompanied with tears in his eyes the realization of his father dying made him aware of what was valuable in life. The worthless value of materialism can and will never count if one is not happy. He was told he could go and visit his father.

Entering the room, Jake immediately went to hug and kiss his father on the cheek.

“Dad, I need you to know that I appreciate you no matter what.”


Tell us: When last did you tell your parent that you love them?