Jun 15

Father’s Day

It has been almost 9 years since my Dad passed. I knew the day would come. Dad’s health had been failing for several years and in his final two months he spent most of the time in bed. I think he was in a lot of pain near the end, but he would never complain. It was not like him to ever complain. All through his 85 years, he carried the burden of so much sorrow. His father died when he was a young boy. His sister Ann died at an early age from heart problems. He lost buddies in the war and his eldest son died at the age of 5. Still, Dad never complained and he always pressed on doing what was best for his family.

*

An interesting poem titled, CRUEL COGITO

written by Ken Chen;

How joyous!,
passing this time alone
with your father, how bright his golden laugh
which drew you to laugh yourself uncontrolled,
how sweet the happy hour oysters you two pry and eat,
piling wobbling shells that glisten on the table
while the pianist plays by the kitchen doors.
You find yourself reminded of what you wrote
in the eulogy: that you two would still possess
a relationship even though
he was dead, that you could still
go and speak with him
when you dreamed
and so you see the seat opposite from you seats no one.
***

My Dad was not a fan of oysters, but I would enjoy having a conversation with him just once more.

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9 comments

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    • Lara He on June 18, 2014 at 4:59 am
    • Reply

    It’s hard to see that so much sorrow your father had experienced. But he is like a mountain which is a nice memory for all families. His positive and brave life motivate all families to move on then his life succeed in your lifes.

    In China, there has an old idiom “子欲养而亲不在“ which means the time when the children want to (or have the ability) to return their parents but it’s too late that the parents are gone. In China, Most of parents they sarcrifice their life to raise their children and children’s children without any complaint. They use out everything they can provide to the next generation.

    It’s very common in China and I don’t want my parents or my husband’s parents to take care of my children in future, they should have their own life like going to University for old age, travelling or exercising, etc which they didn’t realize when they ware young. My Dad and Mom are taking care of my 2 years old nephew, I encouraged them to vist some interesting places but they always said “let’s talk this later”(I hate this sentence most :(). So far I only supported my Dad to fulfill one of his travelling wishes that is visiting Tibet,Xizang province on 2012. The other one is Taiwan, he has been to lots of places in China but these two provinces are his wish after retirement. I hope we can visit Taiwan next year and at that time my nephew will go to the Day-Care.

    1. Thanks for your very thoughtful comment, Lara.
      We should cherish the time we have with family. We never know when they will be gone.
      …and lifetimes pass in the blink of an eye.

      I hope your father will have the opportunity to enjoy more travel.

    • potter chen on July 3, 2014 at 10:27 am
    • Reply

    I am touched by your fathers story. Actually, my mother and father are in their 70’s, but they still love to live in my home town-a small town, I really hope tha i could spend much more time with them. They never complain, they brought up four boys in that difficult time in China, and they are so great and i I am proud of that i have suhc a good dad and mom. Wish them healthy and happy.

    1. Wow! Four sons is considered quite a blessing in China, right?
      I wish for you and your parents to have many more years of happiness & good health.

    • potter chen on July 4, 2014 at 10:01 am
    • Reply

    Thanks, and you are right. Four boys without girls in on family was a rare case.

    • Vicky Zheng on July 15, 2014 at 2:05 am
    • Reply

    The situation what Lara said “子欲养而亲不在“ had just happened to me. My father was gone in this April just one month after he retired. He suffered from a sudden hypertensive cerebral hemorrhage, he spent more than one month in hospital bed, and finally left even without leaving a single word to us. It was too sudden for us to accept this reality. I had ever planned to travel a lot and have fun with my parents after my father retired in this year, by then my son was just 3-year -old, it’s just the age easily for us to bring him to travel, but~~ , for me, all good wishes and planes became permanent regrets!

    It’s natural that one will have to face the day when his/her parents pass away, but we will leave ourselves no or less regret if we cherish the time we have with our parents, and care about them in the daily life, but most of all if you have plans to express your love to your parents, don’t hesitate to take the action right away, because just as Kevin said: “We should cherish the time we have with family. We never know when they will be gone. and lifetimes pass in the blink of an eye.”

    1. Sorry to learn of your dad’s passing, Vicky.
      I am sure you have fond memories.

    • May on August 8, 2014 at 11:08 pm
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    You are very lucky that you have a great father who set a good example and teached you a lot. so touching.. I belive he gets peace and lives a nice life in heaven.
    Just as Vicky said,it’s natural that everyone will have to face the day their parents pass away. I can’t help crying in my heart when i see this words. I hope that day will never come and if it has to,i hope that day will be delayed as long as it can. Hope my parents will live a hundred years. I love them!
    Kevin,thnaks again for sharing such a touched article.

    1. Very sweet comment, May. Thank you.

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