August 2004 Part II

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A while prior, I came across some of father's old photos: photos of when he was my age, and younger. As stories were told, he too was once a mischievous young lad. Now, as his second anniversary rolls by, these photos are posted in memory of the youthful sentiments that have over time matured into the love and care that a father provides his child.

When you are a toddler, you think that pops is the almighty one. He does the handiwork in the house, and occasionally cooks too. He is your friend, your playmate, your protector. Your troubles, he rids in no time. You cannot wait to grow up. You cannot wait to be just like him.

Then, you grow a little older. You go to school, and begin to learn, that he actually has limits—Bobby’s dad, and Heather’s dad, and Charlie’s too, they each can do something that your dad cannot. And then, you grow a little older still. In high school now, and you realize that really, it is time to break free from him. Surely, he does not fit in with your friends any longer. Surely, he tries to talk you out of your choices. But, what is wrong with them? Why can you not make the decisions concerning your own life?

Then, you grow a little older still, perhaps in college now, perhaps working away from home, and pops may not be a big part of your life any longer. Perhaps you are in a cold war over some disagreement. Perhaps you visit him occasionally with your girlfriend. You may have forgotten how long ago, you had wanted to grow up just like him.

And then, and then, children come along, and you become a father yourself. Pops is much older now, perhaps grey-haired, and you yourself might be getting some grey too. You realize how difficult parenting is, and want to turn to your father for help. But something stops you short, and maybe there is some guilt.

Some more years go by, and finally one day, you realize how wise your father had been, and how different things could have been if you had realized it long ago. But it is too late, for your father has left this world.

Pops, you are with us in thoughts, and in the thoughts of many. Your wisdom will live on, as will your love and care.


Tai Meng | 孟泰 | Last Updated: May 01, 2013