Our memory can be very deceived and fragmented, and therefore very misleading. For a long time, all I could think of when it came to my father were my later memories; in it, he was lonely, ill-tempered, and hard to reach. Consequently, I mostly stayed away from him and didn’t even try to communicate with him much.
Yet, after his death a year ago, I doubled my efforts to reconnect with my mother to better understand all the good influence she has had on us. After doing this, I couldn’t help wonder what good influence my father had on me as well. As I recollected, some very warm memories poured in:
Childhood memories float through me, and in it my father is very gentle with me. I see a small child, a toddler even, and he is bathing me and shampooing my hair. He takes me mountain climbing, visits his brothers with me, and takes me to see dragon boat racing. He is always gentle with me in all these endeavors.
I realize in my memories that my father loves nature. He loves trees and animals. He always kept some animals nearby, dogs, cats, and rabbits. He also loves traveling and seeing the world. He is hardworking and enjoys making good money. He enjoys growing different kinds of fruits and vegetables. He is a great farmer and also very good at selling. He enjoys taking these vegetables to the market and selling them for a good price. He had so much fun doing all these things. He had incredible energy; the contrast to his later years is almost unbelievable!
Looking back, he had so much fun living his life! He never complained how hard it was to get up early to go to market; he never complained how hard it was to work in the grueling sun or in the cold winter. Never! Instead, all I remember is how happy he was when his hard work brought him a good fortune!
He made good money and then enjoyed himself! He traveled a lot even when we were little. He always arranged some trips for himself and my mom. He travelled even more after we all became adults. He had visited more than 10 countries, which was an impressive feat in poor Taiwan during those days. When these different kinds of memory poured in, suddenly my image about my father’s life turn from being black before to becoming colorful instead. He lived his life vibrantly just like I do today. The record on my father is now being set straight.
Dear father, thank you for all your hard work! Thanks to your sacrifices we have this good life today. We can enjoy ourselves now because you provided us with a financially care free life! Thank you! I love you!
By Su Zhen