Ian browsed through his phone and crossed by his family picture. He started feeling a bit emotional because he could feel the love he had for them.
“Eww… It’s gross. I look chubby there.”, his sister Abby remarked as she pointed herself in the picture.
“Well, you better kick out your laziness and start burning those oozing fats.”, responded Ian.
“I’m willing to donate them to you. You’re skinny.”, said Abby.
“If only that’s possible… But now, you better start working out.”, said Ian.
“Okay, cut the chatter now.”, interrupted their father, “Abby, your mother’s looking for you. You need to put on make-up.”
Abby nodded and ran to attend to her mother.

The father then checked on Ian and saw the picture his son looked.
“It’s been a while since our last.”, the father said, “And now you’re going to college. I’m so proud of you.”
“Thanks, Dad.” Ian answered, “I thank God and all the people who helped me.”

“You’re taking the same course with Chris, right?”, the father asked.
“Yeah”, Ian replied, “I didn’t know he likes it as well.”
“Looks like it’s in his DNA.”, his father said, “And most likely in yours.”
“Sort of.”, Ian said, “I know he’s kind, but we’re not close friends. I’m a little fearful on how’s he going to be when I’m with him.”
“Don’t be.”, the father advised, “Just flow and respond right. And most importantly, be the right person.”
Ian faintly smiled as he agreed.

“You know, I envy Chris and his family.”, Ian said, “Chris has everything one could have- brains, friends, wealth, brawns, and looks. His brothers are the same as well. Seeing them with their parents, they make up a perfect family.”
“The good thing is they’re grounded and God-fearing.”, his father said, “But I have to remind you. Don’t let your envy make you create conflict with them. Don’t compare yourself to them. There’s a story behind their well-natured personality.”
Ian slowly nodded.

“We may not have the wealth that Chris’ family has.”, his father continued, “But what your mother and I can give both of you are love and dignity. These make a person happy and contented regardless of his social status.”
“If business properties are their inheritance, education is for you and Abby’s. It’s an effective weapon to fight the real world. I don’t mind getting an expensive car or a big house and lot. We’re willing to invest in the best institutions for both of you to learn greatly.”
Ian slowly nodded.

“Dad, I plan to study hard and give a comfortable life to all of you after I graduate.”, Ian said, “I want to give you everything the world has now.”
“That’s a fine goal. But focus first on building your foundation.”,his father said, “Continue your work in high school and bring it to college until you go through life. Also, learn to play your cards well for every challenge you encounter. And most importantly, enjoy what you do. Life is too short to be miserable.”
“Gee… These are more than what I needed.”,Ian remarked, “Thanks for these. I’ll take these to heart slowly but surely.”

“How time flies!”, the father remarked, “You’ve grown into a young man. I remember the time I held you in my arms. I saw in your future great achievements.”
“I remember you taking me to places where I can learn a lot. You always answered everything playing around my curious mind.”, Ian said, “I also remember taking me to arcades and playing all games there.”
“Those were the days.”, said his father, “I hope you were happy with it. It’s the only time I can spend with all of you after a whole work week.”
“It’s okay.”, answered Ian, “What’s important to me is the time you spent with us. It makes us know that we have a dad to turn to.”

Ian suddenly felt an outburst of emotion as tears flowed from his eyes.
“I just feel blessed to be part of this family. We had been wholesome… loving… caring… understanding… encouraging… discipline-oriented… committed… honorable… united…. and most of all God-fearing in all that we’ve been through. I just want to thank you and Mom for always being there. I thank you for your funny jokes and all your efforts to keep us happy. I thank Mom for all the constant reminders , in spite of her overprotectiveness. I thank Abby for her encouragement at times, in spite of her annoyance and foolishness. This family may not be perfect, but one thing I know is…. it’s all I need.”
“You’ve been a blessing to us as well. Thank you for helping us in things around the house in your spare time. Thank you for helping Abby when she’s in trouble with her studies. Thank you for your happy disposition. You’ve always made your surroundings happy, including us. “, his dad remarked, “As long as we’re still alive, we’ve got your back. ”
The two then hugged each other.

“What I want you to remember always is that you be a fighter when life throws anything at you.”, his father said, “Be strong. Never give up. Live your life in lasting quality. Always be positive. And most importantly, keep on fighting.”
Ian nodded in reply.
“Let’s continue to keep our family in sync with anything.”, Ian replied.
“I agree with that.”, Ian’s mother remarked as she together with Abby approached the men, “We’re ready now!!!”
“Okay, dear. I’ll just fix Ian a little bit and we’re ready.”, Ian’s father replied.

A few minutes later, both father and son came out fixed and ready.
“Okay, let’s be in our positions.”, the photographer said.
The whole family was ready as the photographer took cue for their family portrait.

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