Where do I even begin…my dad is my hero, my rock, my life. I know people say this a lot but my dad is truly the greatest dad in the world. Ever since I could remember I have been a daddy’s girl. I have always looked up to him because he is one of the smartest people I know. I am always astonished at how much he knows.
Here is a little history on my dad. His name is Michael Benjamin Damen. He grew up in Toms River, New Jersey. The same place as Bruce Springsteen his favorite singer/rocker ever. And when I say ever I mean ever, he loves his music and him so much. This past year actually, my dad, my brother and I went to one of Bruce’s concerts at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. It was such an amazing experience that I shared with my family. His parents, my grandparents, grew up in Holland. His moms name was Ineke, thats where I get my name from. My parents thought it would be easier to pronounce it with an a at the end so they changed it to Ineka. I know…much easier to pronounce right? My Oma, meaning grandmother in Dutch, died when my dad was in college so I never got to meet her, but heard she was truly an amazing women. I am so honored to be named after her. My grandpa or Opa meaning grandfather in Dutch, name is Ben. He actually fought in World War 2 and was imprisoned in a Japanese prison camp for a little over a year. The stories he will tell are truly shocking about what he had to go through in there. He is a great guy and currently lives in Florida with a caretaker friend, because he suffers from dementia. He built a log cabin in Helen, Georgia when he was young with his brother that I occasionally visit with my dad and brother. I love it there, it is so peaceful.
My dad moved from Jersey to California to study law in Santa Barbara when he was about 22. That is actually where he met my mom. He became a lawyer and has been one ever since. My brother was born in 96′ and they actually lived in a little apartment in Goleta until they found a house in Carpinteria around the time I was born in 01′. My dad has lived there ever since.
This past year and a half my parents have been going through a pretty rough divorce and it has really affected all of us. In the beginning it affected my dad the hardest I think. I saw him every day and saw what it did to him. He was human. I had never seen him like this before. Sad. Very sad. Some days I never knew what to do except just hug him and tell him everything was going to be ok in the end. Sometimes I didn’t even believe that my self but I knew I had to tell him that. Its been getting a little bit better and now he is in a much better place and so am I. Nothing will ever be the same as the day my mom moved out but we are slowly learning to accept the present as it is.
My dad and I relationship has definitely been the strongest in the past year and a half. I know that whatever I have on my mind I can share with him. I always look forward to coming home and telling him how my day was and everything that happened. My dad will forever be my hero and my everything. I love my dad.
Stay tuned for more about what I love!