Meet Peter Waterman. He is the father of the effervescent Sr Sarah Marie Waterman OCarm. While that might be enough to earn our admiration, this amazing single father of the bubbly Sarah is so much more.
“I would like to say that my father is a single parent (my mom died when I was fifteen years old). He is the best cook in the world, a disciplinarian, but the happiest man I know who devoted his life to caring for his children, despite whatever situation life handed him”.
A self-employed, auto-body repairman and a musician with a love for gardening, are just some of the hats that Peter Waterman wears.
“My most fun memory with my father would be stalling with the car in the middle of road just after he picked me up from school. Totally embarrassed because the car needed fixing from the day before. Not knowing, that the mechanic had repaired it that same day; it was just coincidental that it stalled just for a few seconds so he was able to start the engine without coming out of the car.” Sarah remembers, “He looked at me and said, ‘yuh thought I had to push it in front all of your friends?’. I laughed and he laughed, for a teenager that would be very embarrassing,” she said.
“Very inspiring” is how Sarah describes growing through her teenaged years with her widowed father, “because he was very open and understanding in many areas. He was very caring, too. I remember once I had a huge ulcer in my toe and he would gently wash it every day with warm salt water, like a mother would…”
Sarah does not believe a few words on paper can even begin to express the incredible relationship between she and her father, “I remembered my father cooking his first meal for us as children, it was curry eggplant and he placed four boiled eggs in the curry eggplant. Of course, when we were finished eating the curry eggplant, there were three eggs remaining in the pot looking lonely. He never cooked that dish again, but as time passed, he perfected his skill, and now he can make a mean Sunday lunch and the best sada roti.”
For a girl, Sarah describes the joys of growing up with her father as being surrounded by adventure after adventure, “he always allowed us the space to be free-spirited, and this was lived out in a real country lifestyle in the village of Piparo. We had our differences, and it took us a long time to build our relationship, one that I would cherish for my entire life”.
“When I decided to enter religious life, my father was not happy.” In retrospect, she believes it was because, she was his first daughter and perhaps he had dreams of grandchildren.” It was a difficult moment for him”, but in spite of it all Sarah says, “he never stopped me: he allowed me to pursue it if it made me happy. Eventually, he accepted my decision and was happy for me, because of the joy that he saw in me”.
My father being a simple and humble man, always told his children two things: God is love, and life is what you make it. I live by those words every day. And so, happiness and joy are the chief ingredients in my life.
Happy Father’s Day Peter Waterman. Thank you for being such a beacon!