Why I Love My Dad: The Real Superman FeaturedWritten by Michael Hidalgo -- Brooklyn, NY Tuesday, 10 June 2014 15:44
Editor's note: The following is the second place winner in the "Why I Love My Dad" series. Click here for more >
I have my father's name, Michael Hidalgo. I am Michael Hidalgo II but not a junior since I have a different middle name. I could not ask for a better man to share a name. Showing me the power of God before I even knew what it was, my father has always led his household honorably. He feared God and worked hard to provide my sister and I with what he never had, including living in a good neighborhood and going to good schools. It was amazing having a father who we knew we could love and who loved us.
When I was three years old he was met in a New York subway by a man who taught him what it meant to be a disciple of Christ, and he became one himself. My father raised me in the church and his family was my family. Growing up, I saw him share his faith with anyone. He attended Bible study after Bible study. He was a quick-witted man who used his talents of art and hospitality to lead in the children's ministry. He served any way he could. He reached out to my mother and she too was a part of the church for some time. She decided to leave God when I was nine and my father when I was ten. My father was devastated. A heartbroken man, he taught me more in those next few years than I can ever be grateful for.
He taught me that the real Superman cries. He taught me the importance of valuing others during your own pain. He taught me that responsibility meant doing what was right, not easy. And he taught me to get back up after a fall. I heard my father bellow night after night and saw him wrestle God for his faith as he struggled to understand. I saw him in his lowest of lows. But there are three things I'll never forget that my dad did during that time: 1) whenever he was wrong, he apologized 2) whenever he was scared, he admitted it, and 3) whenever he was victorious, he gave glory to God. The humility that he exudes led his mother, Gram Gram, to come to Christ. His humility is what led me to do the same on May 31, 2009. And it's what led him to the beautiful woman he married later in life, with me standing at his side as his best man.
My father always made me feel like his best man, not a boy who needed to be better. I want to be the best man for the Father that he and I share. My father is my biggest role model, my hero, my mentor and friend. He is my comrade in arms. He is who I went to for advice when picking a college, asking my girlfriend to go steady, working for the church and making Jesus Lord. To me, he's more than Superman. He is a man after God's own heart. I wouldn't be anything like I am today without him. Fathers like him are why days like Father's Day exist. No matter how much he is hurt, he loves. No matter how he feels burdened, he protects. No matter how much I feel like I disappoint him, he believes in me. And I believe in him.
He is a man who will change the world until his dying breath. He spends his time now balancing a full-time job, helping lead a Bible Talk and leading the HOPE worldwide ministry here in Brooklyn. His greatest strength is this: no matter how undervalued, unappreciated or misunderstood he may feel, he never gives up doing what is right. And because of my daddy, no matter how old I get, I will always know that it's worth it to do the same.
Mike Hidalgo is a member of the Brooklyn region of the New York City Church of Christ.