Saturday, June 13, 2015

In Memory Of My Dad Whom I Respected

In memory of my dad, I'm going to write, for the very first time in my life, about him. I will talk about how he brought me up when I was a kid, the relationship between us, the sacrifice he made, his religious belief and his outlook on life and so forth.

The Way He Brought Me Up

In the eyes of my dad, I was a mischievous boy and he didn't hesitate to discipline me using corporal punishment when I was a kid resulting in skin bleeding and leaving behind red cane marks on my buttock, thighs and legs for days. My sister was always the one who treated my injuries if I am not mistaken. At one time I even thought of running away from home as I hated my dad for beating me with a rattan cane or the handle of a feather duster.

Table manners was something he attached importance to. In addition, he insisted me to use chop sticks and a rice bowl when taking a meal as he wanted us to follow the Chinese traditions.
He detested my listening to popular songs, which I like, except for classical music which I didn't know how to appreciate. I learned how to play harmonica from him though.

He expected me to perform well in school and I did, I was the top student in my class for 3 consecutive years from grade 10 to 12 in a private secondary school. He tutored me English as he knew the importance of it for my future.

He dislike me for keeping long hair and mustache but I didn't listen. He suggested saving at least 10% of my income for rainy days but I found it hard to do that. He advised me to control my temper but I did give some people a piece of my mind.

He never talked about the birds and the bees with me or how to date girls, either he didn't have much experience or he felt uneasy. I taught myself in sex through reading adult magazines.

The Sacrifice He Made For Me

My dad was a very thrifty person who never bought any toys for me to play with during my childhood and never showered gifts on me. However, he wouldn't think twice in spending money on me when it came to education. Although he never said he loved me or hugged me, he did pay for my first motorbike and followed by a new car and two used cars upon my request further down the road.

My dad was never a rich man but he was the one who paid for my university education and my living expenses with his life-time saving and the money he got by selling his only house when I was studying in Texas Tech University. Much to his relief, I obtained a bachelor degree in Industrial Engineering eventually.

I couldn't pay him back for the sacrifice he made for me no matter how much I tried and I feel bad about it for the rest of my life.

Our Relationship

I seldom talked to him before I furthered my study in the States. However, during my stay as an international student in the university, I did write to him very often and he replied to every single letter I wrote him. We exchanged views on lots of subjects under the sun. I believe he knew me much better as a person during the four years or so than all those years combined before that.

I dated an white American girl who was pursuing her Civil Engineering bachelor degree in the same university. My dad didn't object to my seeing her but nether did he encourage me to date a girl outside my race. He told me that my priority was to complete my study and everything would fall into place when I returned to Malaysia where there were many Chinese girls for me to choose from as a life partner.

We did have something in common but we didn't agree on many things as he was a conservative Asian and I was a very Westernized one after having stay in America for years

His Religious Belief

My dad was a devoted Buddhist. We discussed on religions in general and Buddhism in particular.
Over the years since I returned home, he had been trying to convince me that Buddhism was the best religion and he hope that I would be a Buddhist too. I don't deny that Buddhism is the most peaceful and tolerant religion in the world. I was and still is a non-religious person due to my inclination and academic background. Nevertheless, I am a semi-vegetarian partly out of compassion for animals.

Drinking in Buddhism is forbidden and he advised me to stop drinking but I didn't simply because I enjoyed it.

His Outlook In Life

There were lots of things we discussed and naturally we didn't agree on some of them such as the my freedom in selecting my life partner. Somehow he didn't like me to marry a woman whose race and religion are different from his.

He asked me to work hard and enthusiastically. On the other hand, he said if I had a chance to accumulate wealth, be satisfied when I could live comfortably and not kept on accumulating it.
He asked me to stay away from drugs and I listened to him and I never tried any drugs until now.
There was once I told him in no uncertain terms that I was an individual and I was entitled for my opinions and I won't let him run my life. I think he was hurt by what I said and the way I exhibited my rebellious nature.

What Do I think Of My Dad

My dad passed away at the age of 84. He died of natural death during the wee hours. As he was a Buddhist, he was cremated.

In retrospect, I feel proud of him for being able to feed the entire family of six and provide full financial assistance for his two sons for the entire duration of my pursuing my dream as an Industrial Engineer and my youngest brother's as a Medical Doctor although he wasn't earning a high income. He sacrificed a lot on material comfort for the sake of my tertiary eduction and that of my youngest brother.

He was a great father to his children although I disagree with the way he punished me for my behavior when I was a kid. Also he was a faithful and responsible husband to his wife even though he wasn't romantic towards my mom or showed physical affections in front of his children. I know deep inside my heart, he loved my mom and the rest of the family members.
Dad, I sincerely thank you and will forever remember you for what you had done for me and I take my hat off to you.

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