I haven't written an essay for 4 months and usually my first one for the year kind off sucks. I'd be very grateful if you could have a look at it and correct my mistakes, suggest other ideas and help me reduce the word count cos it's supposed to be 300-350 words and this one is 449. (normally I use 380, but never nearly 450, but like I said, first essay of the year, so I'm not in my best shape).
What else? I'm in the second class of proficiency. I'm going to take the CPE this year (May-June). Without further ado, here's the instruction and then my letter

You have read the text below which is an extract from a magazine article on the declining role in the family of fathers today. You decide to write a letter responding to the points raised and describing a person who, in you opinion, has been an ideal father.

A father is more than a male parent. Fathering a child is easy - being a father is not. Many people say that fathers no longer have a clear role in the family. They spend most of their time outside the home and never really get to know their children. Without models to follow, how can today's boys understand the concept of "being a father"? Are there no real fathers today?

My letter

I am writing with regard to the article published on your magazine about how they fatherhood and how it has lost its meaning along the way. I would like to pose certain arguments which support that true fathers do exist in this day and age. I would like to describe one man who has show nothing but caring devotion to its family and should be a paradigm of a real father.

More specifically I am going to describe my father who at the age of 18 left his own country to live and immediately create a family here, in Greece. He was accepted at the medical school as he was an honour student. However, he did not graduate until the age of nearly 40 because he was the one who sat home and raised his children, me and my brother while my mother had to go to work to financially support us. We were brought up with the high importance of education and that we should live an honourable life without hiding away from the big world out there. Self-confidence was also one of the first things he passed on to us and I still live by his words of wisdom.

Of course, being a parent should mean taking financial responsibility, feeding and clothing a child and teach them how to behave. Nevertheless, fatherhood goes beyond all that since my father was the one who helped form me into a decent human being. He always has a way of making a point without having to dictate or ground me. For instance, whenever he advised me to do or not do something, he never ended up forbidding me to do it. I was made to learn from my mistakes and move on. He also taught my brother how to never quit when things were not looking well, because despite the many difficulties my father encountered during his studies, dropping out was not an option. I was his dream to become a doctor but he is now proud of being one because that means he could take better care of us, his family.

All in all, I still believe that there are father figures and not all hope is lost. I am certain that my brother, who has followed my father’s example and become a teacher, is going to put his family needs before his own and his children will most certainly have the same moral up-bringing he and I have had when we were young. I feel lucky that we do not celebrate father’s day in Greece because I could never think of a proper present to give to a man who represents everything that a real father should be.

Thanks a lot in advance

ps: I already know that "Father figure" is a bad choice since it doesn't mean an actual father, but i didn't know what else to say.