18 Oct 2011

What I learned from Dad (and mum)



When I was growing up, dad was a busy man. Busy with work, busy with sports, busy with church work. Believe it or not, he has medals in almost every game...badminton, squash, basketball, table tennis, carom, golf, chess  ...... a long list isn't it?

Yet, he made time for us, time to talk to us. He also made the most beautiful kites, took us to fields where he'd make his huge kite go up, dive towards the ground and lift off again. I remember chasing and chasing the kite and yet, never catching it.  :)

But what I really learnt from my dad, was his love for "outsiders", orphans and foreigners without home. As a child, our home was often filled with people every weekend. Mum would cook up her best Nyonya dishes, and the house would be filled with people from all sorts of countries, Korea, Japan, Phillippines, East Malaysia, Nigeria etc. They loved coming because of my parent's company. There was much laughter. Somehow, they would end up calling my parents Dad and Mum. Such was my parent's impact on these lives. They cared for people who were newcomers to this land.

Well, upon retirement, my dad took his passion a step further. He began going into interior villages where he saw the living conditions of the OA people. Because he has the wonderful gift of "connecting" very soon the village people recognized him and looked forward to his visits. His heart of compassion drives him to bring in basic necessities for them, and talk with them.

Apart from this, he and my mum dedicate one day a week in going to the refugee school. If you go and see for yourself, you'd know how much the children there love them. And lately now, he's also dedicated his weekends to going to P.Ketam where he provides free English lessons to the children there. I met some of his students recently and it's amazing to note how love has touched them. Their parents can testify that their children who were once bordering on becoming gangsters and school dropouts, have turned around. 

How did it happen? Instead of looking at them as gangsters, my dad saw them as potential leaders. And because he saw them that way, that's what they've turned around to become, true leaders in training. :) My mum (an ex teacher) is also now a regular teacher there, and it's wonderful that they share the same passion. :)

So...I titled this post "Things I learnt from my dad." I'm sure you can tell now what I've learned. While growing up, it wasn't A's or being first in class that mattered the most. What mattered most was a heart that cared for others, for the less fortunate, for the orphan, for the foreigner.  And because I too now am a parent, I do the same. I bring my children  to interior villages, I take them to refugee centers, orphanages and old folks home. For I'd like to pass on what I've learnt, to my children, in hope that they too, like their grandparents will put above all else, a love for God, and a love for those in need.
Some time ago, my dad's friend gave me a photo which he captured. It was a photo of my dad walking in the rain, in a remote village deep in the jungle. I decided to make a painting of it.

16 comments :

Wang Tak said...

You should post the original pic next to this!

Kiddothings said...

Such a beautiful tribute to your parents, especially your Dad. Now I know who you take after. It's truly a legacy worth passing down through generations. Good on you for instilling that in your kids now.
Lovely painting, by the way.

TT said...

Hi hon. It was well written. A summary of daddy's life. In deed, I was blessed to have wonderful father in law like him. Growing up, I missed to have a dad whom I can talk to like a friend. Now, I realized that God has gave me one.

dj said...

Beautifully written and painted! I hope one day my dd will write something as touching for me! ^^

Quay Po Cooks said...

You are blessed to have parents who have a heart of gold and your children are blessed to have you for this kindness will be pass on from generation to generation. I have high respect for you and your parents. The world will be a better place if more people have a heart for the less fortunate. What a nice painting of the silhouette of your dad. I have a similar photo of the silhouette of my parents in law. These pictures are priceless!

Divoo said...

and now we know how you have that heart of gold! it felt great to read this post about your Dad and Mum, Martha! i guess, the current generation of kids needs this learning the most! and that's a lovely picture!

Spilled Milkshake said...

This was so wonderful to read! Awesome tribute and awesome painting!

Carolyn lil' dahling said...

Now we all know who you take after. It's really true that children will look up to their parents as a role model and you have been a very good role model to them. :) A very touching true story and I love that painting very much. Glad that you enjoyed 'naked pictures' of my boy..;)

Catheryn @ Pink Bibs said...

Beautiful post and a heartwarming post about your parents. It is kind souls like your Dad who makes this world a better place. :)

gail said...

What a wonderful legacy. The painting is stunning. much love to you

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Martha, I love that painting of your dad walking in the jungle.
Beautiful, outstanding!
One good father is worth a hundred teachers.
You have a nice day, and keep a song in your heart.
Lee.

Jessica said...

What a beautiful gift to learn from your dad. I hope you can also pass this on to your dad.

Jessica said...

I mean to say I hope you can pass this on to your kids.

martha said...

Thank you all for your lovely comments. Appreciate it. :)

michiko said...

What a lovely tribute for your father and I agree with 100% that you are follow your fathers foot steps though that why it is very important for how you to guidance your children.
You are doing very well with your children Martha!
The image of photos your dad is very nice.
Why I didn't post much in here because I have more friends at blogpost.
Although I played golf for three times a week and pretty much I lived on reality life..
We spent most of day at golf clubs after that not thing to repeat in blogs.
Thank you for asked me about my health Martha.
Would like to visit my blogspot...
You have a nice day,
Michi

I'm a full-time mummy said...

Beautiful painting! And your dad sounds like an awesome dad!

Thanks for your comment on my recent post about my book purchase from Better World Books. Glad to meet another fellow book lover! :)

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