My dad and I are not the sort that openly show our emotions toward each other. Typically conservative Chinese. But I do know that he does express his love to me by the littles of things, like giving me a car ride, and the few conversations we share when we are in the car. Thank you pa for being the quiet but yet sturdy pillar of strength :)
Looking at my baby photos, I realised that you have never carried me. Perhaps this is why our relationship is not as close even until today. But nonetheless, I know you care much and have worked so very hard to raise brother and I. I hope one day I am able to repay you and give you a good life in your old age.
Your youngest son
I find it hard to imagine and accept that you’re getting older, and to know that one day you might actually leave us. These few years I’ve heard you complain about how your eyesight is failing you, and sometimes it pains me in that moment to think of how you’ve aged since my first memory of you. But most of the time, within seconds I’m back staring at my iPhone, lost in my own world. I know by saying all this nothing will change, so I’m going to take you out for lunch this Sunday for a start. Hopefully I can start taking care of you the way you have brilliantly taken care of me all this while.
How I know my father loves me:
- I always manage to get a really good score when I play badminton with him even though my skills are atrocious and he is a fantastic player.
- On the rare days I’m home early, he hovers by my room door and finds the most random things to comment on about my room.
- He is always subtly hostile to the boys I bring home.
- He lets my siblings and I play (and sing at the top of our lungs to Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry in the car even though he must be positively tormented.
- Before I go on a trip, he acts like I’m on my own but always comes up with an indirect reason to give me money.
Sometimes I choose not to understand or notice what his actions mean, but deep down I do. Thanks dad :)
Hi Lao Ba! There isn’t much I need to say that I wished I could have told you, because it’s all mostly been said. From my continuous pestering for more of your life stories, to the gratitude I hold for molding me into what I am today, it’s all thanks to you. It’s also a testament to you that we share such a good relationship, and it’s something to be treasured.
Please take more time to rest. Should be easier now that you don’t have to be a chauffeur everyday, so stay healthy and enjoy your retirement! We’ll drive around more often and go on food trips around Singapore, and I aim to help you break your poor track record of often selecting the less-than-best-food available!
My father had always pushed me to go overseas to study, knowing how broken Indonesia is in terms of higher education. February 2006, the day I finally told him I got the scholarship that gave me the ticket to Singapore, he said how he was both happy and apprehensive, for someone like me who was so much attached to home, mommy, and daddy. Only later I found out he actually was losing sleep over it. Funny, because in front of me he was always the one who maintains a strong facade.
Fast forward 6 years later, I hope he can see that the bird has indeed left his nest, flew safely onwards to pursue his own dreams.