The older songs makes me reminisce my parents, especially my dad who loves to croon, inside the bathroom. Not like he can’t make it on stage, but he did not make it his profession, like me. He used to be invited on stage in all social occasions to sing, and as a child, he never failed to impress me, as he belts out his favorite tune. I’m so proud of him. He is Chinese ed but together with mom, he places us, my sis and I into English schools. For better or for worse, only my younger brother goes to a Chinese school.
If my dad is still alive today, he’d be in his 70s. And how I wish that at moments like this, he is still here with me as I remembered looking at him, always in awe of his stature, seeking comfort that was once so warm. He was ever so generous in spirit. And for that , I tried to take on that nature of his. To be caring and giving to humanity. But I can’t be like him. He has never for once said no to some sob stories.
I remembered him to be silent and hardworking, that filial son of an immigrant peasant , whose education opportunity was stunted by the war but he worked hard, married my mom and eventually struck the social welfare lottery which became the turning point of our lives, and his life.
He was continuously busy over the businesses he started but always found time to teach us ( bro, sis and me) everything he knew. And buying us everything we ever needed or wanted, including us into his daily schedule every time and everywhere he is needed, thence later to watch us grew up, in the care of my mom, becoming as hard as knuckledusters as calamity swept into our lives, and separated them.
But as the sky falls as they say, even relatives and friends ran helter skelter. All those people that once swarm like bees in our courtyard especially during Chinese New Year’s Day dwindled to zero. I’ve never forgotten those years, and those moments, though I was younger then. I’ve never forgotten that look of despair on his face, in both their faces, as we were brought to realize what humanity means and how fragile relationship was to certain people. Thence onwards, I’ve never ever truly understand the joy of Chinese New Year and what it means to others, because the trauma stays. For good.
In a way, I have never reciprocated his love for me. Only in my later years after his demise do I realize how hard it was for him to feel that. But I cared a lot in my own ways to help him unknot the entangled. And remembered him by his love for children and the happiness he gained from singing his heart out.