“What are you doing?”
“Come, sit here, I want to show you something.”
“This is the key to A, this one is the key to B. These are the documents for C while these are the documents for D. I keep them right here. Documents E I keep in the bank. This is the key to the safety box and the passkey is 123456.”
“Why are you telling me these? Are you going somewhere?”
That was a conversation I once had with my father. Several weeks after the conversation, his health deteriorated for about eight months until he passed away.
June 22 was my father’s birthday. Twenty-two was also my age when my father passed away. 22 divided by two, 11 (of June), is the day he passed away.
I wanted to use the words “when I lost him.” But that did not sound right. I have never lost my father. He is still with me every step of the way. So I chose the words “passed away” instead. He has passed this stage of life and moved on to another.
I have not lit a candle for a long time. This (early) morning, I lit one for you, pop. Bringing about all our memories and the lessons (and habits) you have ‘imposed’ on me.
Activeness. Positiveness. Cynical snappy witty remarks. Curiosity. Detailed annoying series of questions. Strange meaningful wordless smile. Humility. Love for nature. Love for books. Attention to details, and attentiveness to the people around us.
Being pragmatic and idealistic at the same time. Being straightforward. Daring to try something new (even if we are totally blank about it and can potentially humiliate ourselves).
Listening to other people without letting them dictate what we do. Doing things our way (Tradition. Why do we need to maintain them anyway? You once questioned. Typical you). Minding own business. Speaking only when necessary. Reading gesture and situation.
Allowing. Letting go. Walking through. Appreciating. Enjoying life. Relaxing. Praying. Living. Loving family, and loving mom.
Obviously I have not mastered them all, but, hey, I am learning.
I remember the times when we were not so keen on each other (Not so keen? That’s an understatement of the century.). Or rather, when I was not so keen on you. Then I thought, why bother. I knew it was a process. My process, and perhaps yours as well (or is that karma? :p). Still, I apologize if I have hurt you and mom.
Thank you (and mom and God) for helping me get where I am today, pop. Thank you for giving me the freedom to grow to be what I want to be. For allowing me to make mistakes and learn from them, while standing about two steps behind, watching, guarding, caring, loving.
I feel like I am entering a new phase of my life soon, pop. Stand by me, will you? It is a territory you know very well–much better than most people in my life do.