This I Believe

Raviv - Piedmont, CA, California
Entered on June 12, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, love

Abba is the Hebrew transliteration for dad or father and for the longest time it has been one of the only Hebrew words I grew up using. Its significance has revealed my identity without me knowing most of the time. Even my friends use the word “Abba” to refer to my father; it’s become a catchy and friendly word for my friends and the most important word in my life. My Abba is one of the biggest figures in my life. An online dictionary defines father as “a man who raises or nurtures a child”. My father is that and more. He is my Superman and my Batman wrapped in one. My Abba is someone who gets up at five in the morning and comes home at nine at night. He puts his children as first priority, showing me the roads to take, making sure I’m the best I can be. Recently, y feelings about my Abba have grown much stronger.

The car ride wasn’t so bad, there was some funny jokes said, but mostly quiet. I wasn’t sure if I was happy that my Abba came out to dinner with us or not. Five adults packed into my tiny Volvo, I sat right in the middle. I felt bad; I didn’t think my dad had enough room. He brings out this self-conscious thing in me. He has and is still doing so much for this family, and me even through his recent medical problems. I find it hard to give back to him. He sat there the whole ride starring out the window answering the occasional questions of “Are you all right”, with a calm “no”. I couldn’t do anything but feel bad. Here, he is on my eighteenth birthday feeling like complete crap, yet out to dinner to a restaurant that he doesn’t like. Then again, I could put that past me since, with the medication he is taking right now, any kind of food tastes vulgar. Crouching over his plate at the sushi bar, he said nothing. Nothing was the worst thing for me. I was still sitting next to him, feeling worthless, considering all the pain he goes through while ordering an eight-dollar role that he is going to pay for later. How am I going to repay him? I contemplate slowly. He is the glue to this family. He tells me he has already lost thirty pounds. I’m not sure what to say. I try to bring up a funny topic, tell him something he could be proud about, the smallest thing. “One hundred and seventy pounds, huh? I could bench you at that weight now.” Response is a minimal smile. I order another eight-dollar role.

What is the conclusion of this story? There might not be one. We all await our future as well as our future awaits us. I’m an investment, the older I grow the easier I will understand this and the easier it will be for my children to carry on that same tradition. My name is Raviv Rubin. I’m attending the University of California Riverside in the fall where I hope to be successful and go on to be an Abba to my children. This is why I believe in my Abba.