Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | June 16, 2013

I Love My Dad

On this Father’s Day I am filled with fond remembrances of my Dad who will celebrate his 84th birthday on June 20. Dad grew up in the small South Texas town of Mission. Earlier today I looked through lots of my Dad’s childhood photos. I especially love the photo of my Dad’s family — one that was taken in front of a playhouse that my grandparents had built for my Aunt. My Dad is sitting in my grandfather’s lap in the photo. Believe it or not, the little playhouse is still standing and in good repair. I love this particular photo because it reminds me that my Dad enjoyed a really good childhood. Dad was the beneficiary of loving parents and a stable and secure home, gifts that he and my Mom passed on to me and my siblings.

Little House Photo
I also found an old photo of my Dad holding me in his arms. I have never doubted nor questioned my Dad’s love for me. From the time I was a kid, my Dad has always called me “mijo” — a combination of the Spanish words for “my” and “son” or “mi hijo.” However, to those of us who speak Spanish, this is an affectionate term, a contraction that conveys more than the idea of “my son.” It more accurately conveys the idea of “my beloved son.” Mijo is a tender term of endearment. Dad still calls me his beloved son and I still love hearing him do so.

I have so many of Dad’s travel photos but my very favorite is a photo of Dad sitting in a gondola on the canals of Venice. Dad was an avid photographer and took hundreds of slides and black and white prints. Little did Dad realize how God would later use his travel photos and stories to pique my interest in the nations. His years of traveling abroad opened his eyes and his heart to the world, a gift that he unwittingly bestowed to me. God used Dad’s photos and experiences abroad to stir in me a love for those who live beyond our borders.

Dad in Venice
Some of my favorite photos are of a trip that Dad and my brother-in-law Paul and I took to Germany and Luxembourg in 2010. We spent two-weeks visiting many of the places in Dad’s old photos. The highlight of our trip was our visit to Spangdahlem Air Force Base where Dad served as the first crew chief when he was in the Air Force. While there, Dad got a tour of the hanger, the jets, and was interviewed by Armed Forces television. It was a blessing to see my Dad have such a great time with the young crew chiefs who now work at this air base.

Dad Interview
Last year, Dad and I did a two-week road trip to Big Bend, New Mexico, and Colorado. We had a great time together and saw some really beautiful places. But, the best thing about the trip was getting to spend two uninterrupted weeks with my Dad. We traveled at our own pace, stopped when and where we wanted to, and enjoyed some of the most beautiful scenery in the Southwest.

Dad at Mesa Verde
So, on this Father’s Day I am thankful to God for my Dad. He has always been an encourager to me, always challenged me to remain curious about the world around me, and taught me the importance of respecting all people. He remained deeply in love with my Mom for a lifetime and gave me and my siblings the precious gift of a stable and secure home. I love you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.


  1. Omar, your tribute to your dad in your Father’s Day blog is great. Thank you for sharing the memories and the photos. You are blessed in many ways.

    • Thanks, Gerry. I am really grateful to God for my Dad and my childhood. Love those old photos of days gone by.

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