It’s famously known that every December 5th every year, Thais celebrate Father’s Day because it’s our King’s birthday. I remember our trips to Bangkok every year because my dad wanted us to see all the amazingly beautiful decorations around Bangkok. I remember asking my dad about the yellow flowers alongside the roads in Bangkok and my dad would tell me those flowers were the symbol of our King. My country was quite peaceful then compared to what Thais are facing today. This year is saddening because I lost my dad exactly 3 months ago. I will just have to call my mom instead as she now fulfills the role as both my mother and father.
When I was only four years old, my dad hired my very first English tutor, Rudy. He was from England. I remember being overly excited to learn something new in the English language. Most Thai kids back in the day learned English at school, but I had “Uncle Rudy”. My dad knew English was my favorite subject and hired a bunch of English tutors for both my brother and myself. Believe it or not, I thought learning English was one of many chores for me, I didn’t know then that I would be living abroad, let alone in the U.S.
Dad was a very smart man and he wanted the same for me; a great education. Whenever I asked him about anything education related, I mostly got it. He was a bookworm and bookstores were his hot spot. I would always follow him around and throw hot tantrums if he refused to take me. I came home with books and he did the same. My mom would shake her head that we spent more money on books when we had no rooms to keep them! My dad and I would just look at each other and smile. Sometimes I would lie on my parents’ bed, reading books with my dad until we both fell asleep.
I’m very grateful that my dad supported me in every way he could to push me to where I am now. I came to the U.S. 10 years ago because my father wanted me to experience living abroad, to speak fluent English, and to get a great job in Thailand.
I wrote my first children’s book and published it earlier this year. Looking back, he was my inspiration. He may not hug, kiss, or say he loved me often but when he received my book, he wrote me saying he was very proud of me and that he loved my book very much.
We had not seen each other for years, but when I picked him from JFK, first thing he did was to kiss me on the cheek, squeeze me and say he missed me. I was glad we got to spend almost 2 months together and that he got to meet my husband and friends. I got to show him around and took care of him. We may not show our love much, but I know that he cared deeply about me. I told him that I was sorry I wasn’t rich or had a high paid job to make him proud. His response was “I’m sorry I wasn’t rich and couldn’t provide you all luxurious things.” His words almost made me cry because I have always worked hard to get his approval, so his answer stunned me. He said he wanted me to be a good person and as long as I had enough and share to others if I had more than I needed.
If my dad could hear me, I would tell him how proud I am to be his daughter and that I miss him every single day. What about you? How often do you talk to your dad? Do you show him you love him? Be grateful that your dad is still around and tell him how much you love and care about him.
December 4th, 2013