‘You always wanted the best for me.’ – I’m ashamed to admit that it took me quite a few sleepless nights to actually realize that fact.
Since birth you’ve showered me with immense love and material provision. The pictures Mum showed me depicted a young child, surrounded by parents who bore hope and faith in him. You never doubted the person I was growing up to be.
You have not been the perfect Dad for me just like I have not been the perfect son for you. You had to be away from home to put food in my mouth and I never understood that when I was young. I always hoped that my Dad could pick me up from school just like the other kids who had parents waiting for them in stationary cars. I looked forward to your return every weekend (not forgetting our routine Sunday morning ‘Cheong Kong’ coffee sessions) and always hated it when you had to leave on Sunday nights.
I too, did not prove easy to handle. I was never a top-scorer in class and I sure didn’t put in my best to be one. Initiation was never my game and procrastination was my favorite past time. Sure I didn’t join the Mafia ‘tai koh’s in school, play truant and hog cigarettes like some of the kids in school but I’ve got to say I was a pretty volatile match-head who wasn’t slow at finding rough surfaces.
Yes there had been frictions between us and there always will be. Sparks are inevitable where the human factor is present just like racism in Malaysia would never vanquish. I said things in an undiplomatic fashion and that is just so typical of me. I should never have said those things and I know I hurt your feelings. “Kuan zhi yat yin, sei ma lan zhui”. Words deployed can never be retracted. Nails hammered can never be removed without leaving a hole. Repentance is what haunts me and forgiveness is what I seek… but you’re my father. I know forgiving me is not an issue at all because you love me.
We’re always learning. That’s why we have brains and animals have less developed ones. I’ve learned a lot and definitely realized heaps of things.
I’m sorry I have been as stubborn as I have been and I know I don’t take advice like how a sponge sucks up water but rest assured, I’m trying to change for the better. And of course, I want you to know that I love you too, ah pa, as much as you love me.
Happy birthday papa! Thank you for everything that you have provided me with!
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