“What’s your fondest memory of your dad?”

To my surprise, a very dear friend suddenly asked me that question. I was caught off-guard. But it’s really a good question. Strangely enough, I have never given it much thought until I heard that question. It took me a moment of pause before I could answer. I was thinking of good memories with my dad. I was surprised to realize that, somehow, I have enough good memories about him. It’s been years already since my dad passed away and whenever I think about him, I always wish he’s still alive. My dad, when he was alive, is always busy. He leaves home early and comes home late. We don’t get to see him that much until he got sick and was forced to stay home. That’s when I got enough time to talk to my dad. I saw him crying once. He told me that my mom was mad at him. He upset my mom and it upset him that my mom was mad at him.  He didn’t like arguments. I remember one time when my youngest sister and I had a quarrel; our dad called us both and tried to remind us of the line in The Lord’s Prayer: “And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sinned against us…” My dad never wanted to see us quarreling with each other. My dad, in his own way, was very kind – a good person, I must say. I had a dog that I raised when I was eight-years-old. I personally looked after my dog since he’s a puppy and I spoiled him. One day, on my way home from school, I received the news from a kid who’s playing in the streets that my dog is dead. I was in disbelief. At first, I thought the kid was joking, but I saw in his face that he isn’t (‘and where would that joke come from if it’s really a joke?’ I thought at the back of my head as I ran home). I didn’t want to believe it because I had just seen my dog earlier that morning before I left for school. I hurried home, with a growing fear and anxiety building inside me, to confirm it. I remember being scared to know the real answer, but I put on a brave act and tried to smile as I asked my mom, looking her straight in the eye: “Is my dog really dead?” Then, to my horror, she said “Yes”. My dad was there, but I didn’t look at him. After hearing my mom’s reply, I could no longer keep the brave act so I ran to our room that I shared with my mom and dad. I was so upset. I was crying my heart out when I noticed my mom followed me, then my dad. I learned later on that it was my dad who asked my mom to follow me to see if I’m alright. (If in case people are wondering why my dad needed to ask my mom to follow and comfort me, I must explain that we are not emotionally showy people, so we might seem cold to other people that are observing from a distance, but we care about each other just like normal family do.) As to the whereabouts of my dog’s body when he died, my mom told me she gave it to the drunkards who asked for it. The drunkards ate my dog. My mom explained to me later on that she gave my dog’s body to the drunkards because she’s afraid that other animals would dig my dog’s grave if I request to have my dog be buried in our backyard. Yes, my mom is practical that way. I didn’t see my dog’s body. Maybe it’s for the best. My dad tried to comfort me by lending to me his Walkman. The Walkman was my dad’s favorite gadget, so I really appreciated his gesture. Those are some of my fondest memories of my dad. It’s my regret that I didn’t even tell my dad how much I appreciate him. Well, I really wished I realized how much I appreciate him long before he passed away. I hope now he knows. I miss my dad; I really miss him a lot.

2 Responses to “What’s your fondest memory of your dad?”

  1. David says:

    It seems like we humans are always ‘too late’ when it comes to appreciating our loved ones. It was like that for me when my favorite grandmother died. She taught me to fish, and spent her summers teaching me, and yet it was the most difficult thing for me to write a note to her when it’s not summer. When she died, I really regretted that I had been so out of touch. I had not thought of that part in a very long time. With her son, my dad, it was kind of the same way. I had my life in California with my family, and when he was immobilized by a stroke, I would do everything I could to visit him, but it’s expensive to keep flying cross country, and I didn’t have those resources, and I had a family that I also needed to care for. But I went and spent time taking care of him a couple weeks a year until he died. I was in California when he died, and my best memory of him was once when I accidentally put water in the gas tank of our lawn mower, and we spent the evening taking it apart and putting it back together. I really regret being too self-centered to know my dad really well. It’s not too late for me and my mom, even though she lives on the other side of the country…we talk more frequently.

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