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Posts Tagged ‘dad’


It’s been a while since I’ve written in this blog. Sorry followers. Life throws curve balls at you when you don’t expect them.

I was never close to my dad, so I was a little surprised how it affected me when he passed away this weekend, despite the fact that we knew he was dying over the last 2 months.

He was not a hands-on or interested father, as were most fathers in his generation and of his culture. He was a traditional Asian dad – he brought home the bacon and he expected to be served and respected by his wife and kids.

I remember as a young child our home was a quiet tiny box when dad came home in the evening. With 7 young children, that was not an easy feat. Only his transistor radio with the horse racing program or the news made much sound in the evening. After our evening meal together, we would do our school work quietly, and mom was at the ready to shush us up along with our grandparents that lived with us. There were 11 people living in a 700 sq. ft. apartment, keeping the noise down was not easy, and there was no doubt who was in control.

All that changed after our immigration to Canada … my mother became independent, learned to drive, got a job and learned enough English to get by; many of the children grew up as “bananas” (white on the inside yellow on the outside), westernized but with some inherited knowledge of some Chinese traditions. That couldn’t have been easy for my dad, who liked control, called the shots, knew it all and enjoyed being “the boss”.

As first generation Canadians, I matured with increasing contradicting feelings towards my own heritage and culture. I don’t know what to pass onto our own children or not, as I can’t explain why we did some of the traditional things and the meanings behind them. All I know is that I inherited the virtues and learned the value and importance of family and duties.

So, regardless what my relationship was with my father, I dug deep and found these AWESOME things to say about my dad as he journeyed forth into another realm of existence. I appreciated:

  • that he was a survivor in the face of adversities, especially during and after WWII;
  • that he was a dutiful and loyal son and brother to his family;
  • his business acumen back in the day when things were done differently; he ran several successful businesses, employed and took care of many of his relatives and friends who needed work;
  • his generosity and largesse towards his friends and colleagues;
  • his foresight to move to Canada to give his family a better life and future;
  • his eventual gratitude for my siblings who bent over backwards to meet his needs and endured his many outbursts and tantrums.

He was my father after all. Rest in peace, dad.

 

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Salute to great teachers


Yesterday during my commute, I listened to CBC Radio as I often do. I only caught part of the story on DNTO. I’m paraphrasing this story and sharing it because I think there are many great teachers out there, many of whom are looked up to and respected by our kids.

It was a story of an Ontario teacher, who one day was chewed out by a parent at a parent teaching meeting just before school started; the parent was unhappy with him for whatever reason and called him incompetent and other belittling names.

The teacher felt self doubt and started thinking about whether he should quit teaching when the bell rang. The  teacher quietly let the neatly lined up Gr. 4 children into his classroom. The kids immediately noticed something was amiss.

The teacher wrote down a math assignment on the board and asked the students to do the work while he tried to compose himself, hiding behind a stack  of books and assignments at this desk. He tried to hide his weeping, but obviously not well enough. The children were exceptionally quiet and diligent with their work. When they were done, one of the kids named Georgie pointed to a book and sent a silent message to the other kids to read silently on their own. When the teacher looked up and saw the kids’ puzzled looks, he stood up and tried to deliver his lessons. To his surprise, little Georgie said “You look like you need a hug, Mr. xx” and proceeded to give him a hug. There he was, a 6’4″ and 250 lb of a man, being hugged by a little boy who wrapped his arms around him like a tree. He was stunned. When little Georgie sat down, one by one, the children came up to give him a hug.

It was such a heart warming story, I was crying in the car as I listened to it. The Gr. 4 kids would not have done what they did if they didn’t feel their teacher was a wonderful human being. The fact that this teacher won a Premier Teaching Excellence Award the previous year made this story a bit ironic.

Kids are amazingly perceptive. No words are needed as their little antennae would pick up the moods of the adults around them. You know what that’s like … when you have an argument with your partner, with one of their siblings, or may be it’s just PMS or work stress.

I know there are many wonderful and fantastic teachers out there, who spent many hours with our kids during the day teaching, motivating, mentoring and guiding them. Some go above and beyond their call of duty.

So, salute to GREAT TEACHERS! AWESOME!!!

Oh … yesterday was International Women’s Day, salute to GREAT MOMS (and dads) too. DOUBLE AWESOME!!!

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