25 April 2012

Thank you for being my Dad

It wasn't a common practice for a Dusun to explicitly appreciate his/her parents. In my household, I didn't grow up seeing family members express their 'thank yous' and 'I love yous'. In fact what I remember most from my childhood is when an older member of the family behaved weirdly (as in starting to be forgetful, or being incoherent) the younger family members would raise their voices to the person. If one is an outsider, one would undoubtedly look at that kind of treatment as 'mean' and perhaps 'ungrateful'. There were times when I got confused, myself. In my mind I often wondered whether I was supposed to treat the older person that way or not. I supposed having gone to school with the mainstreamers (so-called modern people), and having been taught about certain ways to respect the older members of the family in moral and religion classes contributed to the confusion. But I now understand that that kind of treatment was never intended to be negative. From conversations with many people of my mom and grandmother's generations, I deduce that life is perceived as a circle. One starts as a baby, one will end up being 'a baby' too (limited mobility, limited brain capability etc), because that was how it used to be with the community. Just like a little child is 'corrected' by his/her parents' raised voice, an elderly person who behaves like a child is also corrected the same way. I am glad that we do not have to confine ourselves to that culture anymore. I still feel awkward saying 'I love you' to my parents because I don't remember them ever saying that to me. But I encourage myself to say that to my kids and dear hubby because I think life is so wasted without hearing those beautiful words said to you. When I came across this song "Thank you for being my Dad", I feel so much like appreciating my Dad. For all the things he has ever done. Despite the mistakes that he did in the process of becoming the Dad he is now. I feel blessed for still having a Dad. Thank you Bapa, for being my Dad.

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