When I think of my dad, I picture him as one of the most beloved people in my life. People are constantly drawn to his personality, friendliness, and ability to have conversations with just about anyone. We rarely leave the house without seeing dad interact with people who are his friends or acquaintances (everyday, not just on Lā Makuakāne), and while it can be annoying to always stop and wait for him to finish talking, I also find that one of his most endearing qualities. Every Lā Makuakāne, I like to celebrate the characteristics that make my dad who he is, especially as we are quite different in numerous ways. Not only is he extremely friendly, but dad also knows how to make people feel valued and important. He makes an effort to have real conversations with anyone who is around him and he focuses on their lives and activities when they speak so they can make connections with each other. Some of his favorite people come from his days at Baylor and the friends he’s made there since I started school. I loved every time he came to visit me for homecomings and short trips so we could spend time together in one of his most loved places. Though he may forget to text or call me back sometimes, I can always rely on my dad to be there in support of my dreams and aspirations. We don’t often agree on the topics about which I’m passionate (prison abolition, democratic socialism, etc.), but he still encourages me to follow my dreams and never give up on myself. Knowing that he’ll be there to cheer me on even if he disagrees with my pursuits is one of the greatest gifts he could ever give me. I’m eternally grateful to have a dad who’s always there for me in every situation and I’m lucky to spend this Lā Makuakāne in celebration of everything he is to me. Hauʻoli lā makuakāne to you, dad!
Sending my love to all of the incarcerated dads and daddies whose babies were taken from them at the border. May we continue fighting for them for the rest of our days.