Like Father, Like Son

It’s been 12 years since my father had passed away. We went to Choa Chu Kang Cemetery this morning to 扫墓 (grave-sweeping).  In the first few years, my mum, my sister, my wife and myself, we would cater a cab for about 2 hours and visit the cemetery to perform the traditional rituals.  I have since bought my own car and now I would drive the family (including my two sons) for the annual ritual. Many things have changed during these 12 years. 可是, 我思念的心, 依然依旧。

Like most Chinese father and son relationship, we seldom talked. I know he loves me but there were always a quiet distance between us, just because we are father and son.

I always remember the photo with my dad in his wheelchair, holding up his champagne glass and shouting “Yum Seng” with all the guests at my wedding. His facial expression was beaming with pride and happiness. And I’ll always remember my mum and myself catching him stealing a sip after the “Yum Seng” shouting session. I remember my mum quietly letting dad finish stealing his sip. It was a special day.

I also remember my last breakfast with dad just a few days before he passed away. It was a weekend and I had an appointment that morning. My mum had asked me to join dad for breakfast at a coffee shop near our block. I’m glad that I did. My father’s speech was slurred as that was the after-effect of surving a bad stroke but we chatted.

I also remember whispering into his ears about my aspirations of becoming an entrepreneur and decision to start my own business when he was lying in a coma in the hospital. A few days later, my dad passed away.

Today. I’ve a successful business. When I started my business, I actually wondered if I had what it takes to become a businessman like my father. Although my results are not as impressive as my dad’s yet but I intend to live up to it.

My dad works 7 days a week and seldom had vacations or rest days. He was always busy. I never understood why when I was a kid. Now, I work 7 days a week and seldom have rest days and I understand why. He had been working hard to provide for the family as I am now.

My dad’s only relaxation was watching TV after he reaches home around 8pm. He would watch TV till near midnight before he sleeps. Me, I also relaxes by watching the box with a slight improvement…. Sometimes I would rent streaming videos from iTunes through Apple TV to watch. Heh!

My father has a fiery temper. I’ve that too. Fortunately, I’ve learnt to control that.

After my dad passed away, I began to see many of my dad’s traits in me. I never realised I’m so much of my father’s son. The quiet distance between dad and myself has narrowed through the years.

Dad, I hope you are proud of me.

I miss you.

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