[ Paalala : Sorry for the long absence Precious Reader, kung meron pang natitira dyan. At least one blog friend coming across this makes the post worthwhile. Wanted two things : (1) to have posted this on father’s day, but laziness intervened, sigh sorry Dad, and (2) to talk about recent anti-Chinese sentiment, both in NZ and Pinas. But in the real world out-of-blog, you can’t always have what you want. Missed blabbing with you, belated Father’s Day ! ]
MY FATHER is healthy and despite his advanced age has many long years ahead of him, but there are things we can no longer do together. Similarly, I can no longer expect him to impart to me his memories, learnings and insights the same way he used to do (sometimes too enthusiastically) when we were both much younger.
But there are things I would have liked to share with my own kids the way my own father did, with the same length of attention, repeatability, and certitude. He was/is a man with simple likes and tastes, but he was devoted to those things that he did. It’s rather trite, but he lived by the saying anything worth doing is worth doing well :
Karaoke King. As regards do-it-yourself singing for entertainment, he was ahead of his time. Just chuck the mike into the amplifier, and play “minus one” tapes of timeless standards and he would sing to his heart’s content. He was the Karaoke King before the karaoke was invented, and he could match note for note any amateur singing champion, as long as the songs were by Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Matt Monroe, or Nat King Cole. He would inspire at least two of his children, that’s me and Eldest Brother, to sing out of love, no matter if the audience was one or one hundred.
Sadly, I have not paid forward the inspiration my Karaoke King father has given me. But it’s never too late for that, right?
Reading for life. Like Mom, my father loves to read, and you will always find him with a book in hand, wherever he goes and whatever else he does. He is an omnivorous bibliophile, but is partial to war and war-related novels, political biographies, and a wide range of paperback novelists, as long as it’s a good yarn. Needless to say, the years have seen me pick up his reading habits, until I’ve now reached the day when as a dedicated and committed reader, I’m truly my father’s son.
Running buddy. In Dad’s middle age, when I was a teenager, he picked up a physical fitness fad that became a lifelong sport for him, and because he had lots of sons he could pick from as running buddies, we all had a turn at running with our father. As years passed, most of us lost interest, but because I always identified running with Dad, I could never truly abandon it without abandoning a part of my youth.
Which was why when I ran my first half-marathon after nearly 25 years, there at the finish line, just waiting for me, was one of the most satisfying memories of a similar run at the Luneta, with none other than my first running buddy, Dad himself.
Belated happy father’s day Dad, and thanks for all those useful and enjoyable habits you imprinted on me. Love you always!