June 21, 2009
Father's Day is always a day for me to think of my grandfather and father who had passed on many years ago. But on such a day I would rather be pensive and dwell on the past.
Grandfather had some good father's days in his life time as his children all loved him terribly and wished him "happy father's day". The Methodist Church too celebrated parents' day each year religiously and I think Grandfather loved such celebrations. I remember Sing Ang Tong would make a special dedication to all parents on that special sunday and the Pastor would preach a good sermon on how parents must be obedient to God and only then their children would be obedient too.
As thoughts of my father would be dwelling on his special behaviour.
What would I say about my father?
Firstly he would risk his life to give his young and thirsty daughter a drink. We were travelling in a river motor launch from my maternal grandmother's house in the hot afternoon after a wedding feast and I wanted a drink. He had saved a bottle of Tai Fong Aerated Orange for me. He was able to open the bottle but there were some rusty stains on the mouth of the bottle and he did not want me to drink from the bottle. He took a small bowl which was a little dirty and took it too the back of the launch and bent down to wash the bowl in the foaming and swirling water . I imagined him falling into the foaming river and drowning at that time. Drinking the orange from the bowl was a once in a life time special offering from my father. What a father!
Father was a Sibu Town Councillor and he was once given a life chicken as a bribe . The guy was probably not well liked by Father. He asked the man to take the chicken away or else he would set the chicken free. There was a slight argument. But FAther said in the end "If you deserve the licence you would get it. But I do not want you to tell people that you got it because you gave me a chicken for it. Thanks. I am embarrassed." Not long after that he passed away. I learned that it was never a thing to do to accept any form of bribery.
Father would always get up early to boil water and make coffee first thing in the morning. After making the coffee he would walk upstairs and wake up mum. He would say " Chuo here's your coffee." I never knew about breakfast in bed. But I was a child very much comforted by my father's early morning offering of hot coffee for my hardworking mum.
And then besides so many other great memories of him I would also remember how respectful he was towards my maternal grandmother. He would also be the first to agree to do anything for her and chat with her for long hours whenever she visited. The mother-in-law and son-in-law relation was really good. They would "nga-lang nga-lang all day long during the holidays...." That is the Foochow way of saying " very communicative".
I am posting the two photos of my father's grave and my grandfather's grave so that all my children and relatives can have a look at them on this day. Hope they are reading...