Family Man Day

Another Father’s Day came and gone unceremoniously. Come to think of it, I don’t recall ever celebrating this day. Quite simply because my birth father hadn’t given me a reason to celebrate, or was around much to coincide with such a celebration. My father passed away about 2½ years ago and I really don’t want to bring up the past. I mean, that poor guy is dead, let his shadow rest.

But this blog entry was calling out for me to be written since Sunday. It is not as a sob story of how I never felt the love of a father, but I guess a coming to terms that I’ll never have the chance to truly appreciate Father’s Day.

I come from a broken home. My parents divorced when I was in my mid-teens and I supported my mum’s decision because I was sick of being in constant fear that he’ll beat up my mum. Every so often, quarrels will come from their room followed by loud slaps and the sound when knuckle meets forehead. I’ll never forget that sound. Then mum will be crying, sometimes bleeding, and almost always with a black eye or bruises.

To get me through school and pay for my father’s drinking and gambling debts, my mother worked 2 jobs – as a wine promoter at the basement of Yaohan (now Plaza Singapura), and a beer promoter at Satay Club (now the Esplanade). So I could imagine how it would feel going to work with bruises on her face.

I was also sick of having to rush-pack and move to my grandmother’s place each time they fought and to move back again after a few days. I just didn’t want to be terrified any longer. And my father hadn’t done anything that earned my respect. I had to deal with his loansharks even though I’m barely 10-years-old, and every year during Chinese New Year, I have to find new places to hide my ang pow money.

When we celebrate the existence of a father, we remember the sacrifices that he has made for the family. More importantly, it’s his sacrificial acts that made us feel special; that in the years where we need guidance and protection, we were provided for and protected. My mum assumed those roles. I remember I used to make a big deal out of Mother’s Day, and I would do something nice for her on Father’s Day too.

So my parents separated and after a few years, my mum remarried. I lost contact with my father but we got in touch again 2 years before he passed away. He had settled in Batu Pahat, Malaysia, and married a woman who had 2 kids from her previous marriage.

I used to have their contacts but an unfortunate incident made me lose touch with them after my father’s death. To this day, his ashes remain somewhere in Batu Pahat. Chinese doctrine on filial piety would frown on my apparent lack of interest to possess his remains. But to me, everything shall pass… Happiness shall pass, sadness shall pass. Especially sadness. The sooner it passes, the better.

By the time of mum’s second marriage, I was in my early twenties. He came at a time when the appeal of a provider-protector had been greatly diminished so our relationship is more of 2 adults living under one roof than a real father-son type. But it still felt good to have another person in the family to depend on since I’m an only child. Well, wrong.

My stepfather created a whole lot of gambling-related problems for us too and to cut the long story short, he fell ill later and could no longer meet the demands of regular work. He is dependent on us financially. In a way, I’m the sole-breadwinner for the family and, as much as I hate to admit it, having an ‘extra’ mouth to feed, is something to bear.

But my mum needs him to be around. Even though there’re squabbles, she has the companionship. Kinda like keeping a pet to keep the important person happy. Gosh, I’m such a terrible person to have an analogy like that. Yet, that’s the way it is. There’s no one to blame for whatever cards we’re dealt, but to play to win with whatever we got.

And so lies my disdain with Father’s Day. Rather than it being a day of love and celebration, it felt more like a memorial. A memorial, like a war memorial, is something created to remember the good out of a bad situation. No wonder Father’s Day always slips past me because I’ve celebrated it a month ago… on Mother’s Day.

Still, I would like to have this opportunity to let the child in me call out this word I’ve never had the chance to use… “Daddy”.

May every child find a hero in his/her father, and may every father give his child a reason to celebrate… every day!

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24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. blumarine
    Jun 21, 2010 @ 20:46:39

    nice entry…

    Reply

  2. blumarine
    Jun 21, 2010 @ 20:46:39

    nice entry…

    Reply

  3. Anonymous
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 15:04:46

    Sorry, Dude
    But you become a stronger man, Darren
    Your admirer of your photography aka FaceBook Friend too 🙂

    Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jun 23, 2010 @ 07:40:54

      Re: Sorry, Dude
      heh heh… didn’t see it that way coz i think i’m weak leh :o) oh, pls send me a msg on facebook so i know who u r… my lousy skills also got admirer… must know you! heh

      Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jun 23, 2010 @ 07:40:54

      Re: Sorry, Dude
      heh heh… didn’t see it that way coz i think i’m weak leh :o) oh, pls send me a msg on facebook so i know who u r… my lousy skills also got admirer… must know you! heh

      Reply

  4. Anonymous
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 15:04:46

    Sorry, Dude
    But you become a stronger man, Darren
    Your admirer of your photography aka FaceBook Friend too 🙂

    Reply

  5. t_yervor
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 17:09:49

    =)
    perhaps those unfortunate events played a major part in making you the wonderful person you are today. blessing in disguise.

    Reply

  6. t_yervor
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 17:09:49

    =)
    perhaps those unfortunate events played a major part in making you the wonderful person you are today. blessing in disguise.

    Reply

  7. Anonymous
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 17:46:24

    ** Big Hugz **

    Reply

  8. Anonymous
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 17:46:24

    ** Big Hugz **

    Reply

  9. heliosrealm
    Jun 25, 2010 @ 18:52:58

    Hugs,
    You may /may not realise that throughout the year as you grown up,,you have assume the role of ”fatherly” figure for your family.
    As being there to support and care for them and to protect them.

    Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jun 27, 2010 @ 05:38:13

      thanks… hmmm… i didn’t see it that way! haha. i still want to be a little boy to be pampered and spoilt lor. lol :o) but well, we all have to grow up someday and come of age i guess…

      Reply

    • celebratelah
      Jun 27, 2010 @ 05:38:13

      thanks… hmmm… i didn’t see it that way! haha. i still want to be a little boy to be pampered and spoilt lor. lol :o) but well, we all have to grow up someday and come of age i guess…

      Reply

  10. heliosrealm
    Jun 25, 2010 @ 18:52:58

    Hugs,
    You may /may not realise that throughout the year as you grown up,,you have assume the role of ”fatherly” figure for your family.
    As being there to support and care for them and to protect them.

    Reply

  11. Anonymous
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 02:17:31

    i came across your blog and just read your entry.
    Big Hug to u! For coming out stronger from your experience.

    Reply

  12. Anonymous
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 02:17:31

    i came across your blog and just read your entry.
    Big Hug to u! For coming out stronger from your experience.

    Reply

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