Small Things To Do with Dad, To Celebrate Him and You

Small Things To Do with Dad, To Celebrate Him and You

I know the title of this post and the photos you’re about to see might seem to indicate that I am a daddy’s girl. And in a sense I think I am, but growing up, I didn’t get to see my dad as often as I’d like to. At one point, we weren’t even living under the same roof. Our family is far from perfect and traditional, even though from the outside looking in, people back home might expect us to be, because of my dad’s calling and job. 

‘What does he do’ – you ask me?

He is a pastor and a preacher.

A former-singer/songwriter-turned-preacher whose life journey has been nothing but miraculous. 

He is not perfect, in fact he is so far from it. His upbringing was painful, his marriage is flawed, his parenting was often blurry — but he is mine. And I love him regardless. 

I didn’t get to see him often then, I don’t get to see him often now, since we live in different parts of the world. But thankfully, he was here back in March, and you know what, I really enjoyed having him here! The whole month felt like a vacation! And here are the small things we did that actually helped us celebrate our relationship :

1. Listening to Old and New Music Together in Our Car Rides

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As an orphan, my dad grew up in the streets, and his musical skills was like his saving grace. He’s been playing guitar since he was very young, and although he is now a preacher, he still loves him a little reggae, blues, or rock n roll. With that being said, I knew he would enjoy listening to the music I’ve picked out for our car rides.

We jammed to Ziggy Marley’s True To Myself, The Rolling Stone’s I Can’t Get No Satisfaction, and John Mayer’s Moving On and Getting Over – and it reminded me of where I got my love for music from. And honestly, even though your parents aren’t musicians, they must have grown up listening to some kind of music and they must have a favorite song. Talking about it with them will definitely light them up!

2. Letting Him Spoil My Little One

This was one of the most fun stuff we did when he was here! We went shopping for J, where he bought him a keyboard, bunch of cool clothes including a leather jacket, and tons of baseball caps. J had a blast, I was relieved that I didn’t have to pay for anything, and my dad was genuinely happy. Everybody wins!

3. Not Bringing Up His Drama Unless He Brought It Up

Life isn’t perfect and sometimes, parents have their own drama going on. Although you care and you probably have a lot to say about things, keep your lips sealed at least until he brought up the subject. Refrain from taking sides, but do use your common sense and be fair. At the end of the day, we’re all family, and families shouldn’t be tearing each other down. 

4. Learning From His Mistakes, Regrets, and Success

I asked him questions that had a lot to do with his past, emotions, views on things, and his hopes for the future. It helped me to see things from his perspective, even though not completely, because we’re wired differently and it is impossible for me to see things completely from his point of view. But I’m glad I asked him some hard questions, and addressed things I wanted to address without letting my emotions get in the way. 

And I’m glad that we got to do it all over some burgers, beers, and glasses of wine. 

Thanks for being you, pa. You’ve been a victim and you have also been a villain. But seeing you get up and keep on living, after all these years is just inspiring.

I love you, happy papa’s day. 


*photography by Beckley & Co.

21 responses to “Small Things To Do with Dad, To Celebrate Him and You”

  1. Amazing writing, Deb! ❤️ Thank you for being such a wonderful daughter! I’m so blessed knowing your Daddy too! 😊🙏


    • Thanks mama, I don’t get to write these kinds of posts that often, but I felt like I needed to write this one. Family oh family!


  2. Ahh Deb,Heavy tears stopped me from reading your writing, as you maybe not aware that behind some of your lines "is actually me" whom spent old good & bad times together. We used to sit next to each other in class during our teens in Bandung. Walking home from school had always been the best moment for us to share dreams, funny things, and talks about luxuries our friends can afford, that was another pain we shared,..hahaha.When your Dad left school,— because he loved music,— we never had the "walking home" ever since, but my Mom & I had always room for him his music and his stories until he moved to Jakarta. I lose contact untill one day found his name at the top of the Indonesian music chart with his song " Kidung". 20 years later, surprisingly, shockingly, he came with Welyar K, Gerrit Hansen and Batara Sihombing, to see me and my Mom. This isn’t good for me because my Mom was so proud to your Dad, becoming a young Pastor. She wpuld never miss, sessions of service your Dad preached, and no other words from her except,…" Chris is chosen God put him from street to the Altar, Chris is awesome, Chris is the answer of his Mom’s prayer ". I later came to know why she was so proud of your Dad, it was your grandma,, —Oma Jo laying down weakly at Ciumbeuleuit hospital in Bandung— softly spoke (in Dutch) to my Mom that she wish your Dad become pastor one day, she then added, "Mam, if something happenned to me, please put eyes on Chris". Then your Dad was her prayer list. So 50 years after that moment, my whole families from Indonesia, Holland, and England, stood up with proudly tears , honoring your Dad hold my mother arms so warmly with love entering the hall of my Mom’s 90 year birthday sermon venue. Everybody sang :"..kemurahanMu lebih dari hidup". "(Thy grace is more than life). That fits for them both.Before his preach, my Mom sitting, asked for the microphone, and testified about the moment she and your grandma 50 years back, in that hospital.
    Right after your Dad’s electrifying preach, he came to my Mom’s kneeling and asked for her Blessings. She hugged your Dad so tightly and blessed him.4 months later, 6 August 2010, when your Dad step down at Jakarta airport, back from Holland, he switched on his cell and read my text : "Mom just passed away in peaceful prayer".Your Dad drove right away to Bandung and lead the mourning service. For the whole family, your Dad is a Blessing.Last week, ooh men,.. I saw him with the old tears again but,—okay,— he is with the same God again. So I am happy…hahahaha.Thanks Chris for making our family’s history lovelier….


    • Thank you om Tutus for sharing this! I know you both share an incredible history and I am grateful that he has you as a friend, even after all these years. What a beautiful story of your mom and my grandma praying for my dad, I wish I had met them both!


    • Hehe thank you kak. Emang penting banget nahan mulut dan nggak ngebahas2 masalah kecuali emang pendapat kita diminta ya hehe. Thanks for reading!


  3. Deb, such a blessing to have read your story. Send my regards to your dad, who is very dear to me back when i was studying in IPB. Also your mum. Is that your cousin in Melb? Ben? Bung Bram is my good friend too in Melbourne where i work at La Trobe uni. Take care, keep blessing more people and share the great news of Jesus where ever you are. Blessings. Yours in Him


    • Iya yang di Melbourne itu cousin ku si Ben. Om Bram itu adiknya papa hehe. Amen thank you Kak Decky. Blessings to you too!


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