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Sunday Mornings with Rania: Father’s Day Reflections

Rania Mankarious
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Rania Mankarious with her father

Rania Mankarious, executive director of Crime Stoppers of Houston, pictured here with her father. In honor of Father's Day, she reflects on lessons learned from her dad, and what it's like to watch her children with their father, her husband, Ramy. 

It was 35 years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday. We were standing on the sandy beaches of Cape Cod. Not old enough to go in alone and sensing I was afraid, I remember my father scooping me up in his arms: “I’m with you, don’t worry, we will go in together.” Though I always felt safe with him, I was still nervous. Glancing over his shoulders, all I could see was an endless ocean with crashing waves. I held on tight. Soon, we were splashing and jumping, catching those crashing waves with smiles. The memory of that wonderful lazy summer day is still with me. That is the power of even the smallest exchange between a father and his child.

And over the decades that have come and gone, I think back to that day and the many lessons it still teaches me, specifically about perspective and trust. See, as my father held me, my feet were latched around his stomach and my eyes fixated on the mysterious ocean… But his feet, however, were planted firmly on the ground and looking at the calmness of the sandy beaches. He saw the whole picture and he knew he had me. I now know that perception isn’t everything and often things are not exactly as they seem.

There have been many more lessons my wonderful dad has taught me:

When I was in school, he would say, “Study as hard you can now so you can live the rest of your life doing what you want to do.”

When it came time to marry, he said, “Marry someone with the same values and outlook and who is kind and respectful. And don’t settle. Being alone is better than being in a lonely marriage.”

When I became the Executive Director of Crime Stoppers (and was terrified), he said: “Don’t worry what anyone thinks. Give each day everything you have. Go out there and give them hell. But always be kind and honest. And please, if you don’t know something, say that you don’t know. But then work as hard as you possibly can to find the answer.”

So here I am, a mom of three, running Crime Stoppers as well as a household filled with its own challenges and needs. But when push comes to shove and trouble comes my way, the first call I’m usually making is to my father.

And as my little ones grow, I love watching their interaction with my husband and their dad, Ramy. When he comes into the house and they run to him, I smile. When they go swimming and jump into his arms, I smile. When he teaches them to play soccer or kills bugs, I smile. When he plays music and does impromptu dance contests, I smile. I know that within their littlest of exchanges, memories are being made and life lessons are being engrained.

I’m sure you have those moments too. Please share them with us! And in honor of my father and my husband and all the many wonderful dads out there, we say, we love you, we adore you and we can’t do this life without you.

Thank you, dads, and happy, happy Father’s Day.  

For more information on Crime Stoppers of Houston, go to crime-stoppers.org and follow Crime Stoppers on Facebook. Have topics in mind that you’d like Rania to write about? Email her directly at rmankarious@crime-stoppers.org. Connect with Rania on Instagram and Twitter. Read past Sundays with Rania posts here.

Editor's Note: Views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of The Buzz Magazines.

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