My dad just turned 59 today. May 3rd. Not so young yet not so old either. He's born in the year of the Dragon in Chinese zodiac, which is very auspicious, and according to Thai/Burmese zodiac, he's a dragon too! Such coincidence!
He's always been a source of inspiration to me and we share a very close emotional bond, he has been talking and telling me stuff and our conversations started since I could babble as a tot, aged barely 2.
He was the one who thought me how to do the rebuttal in debates (he was a former debater back in his school days), I was only in Primary School, I guess it was either Primary Three or Primary Four, when I was about 9 or 10, when I need his help for ideas for a very lopsided title (it will come back to me slowly but not now), and the supposedly to be winning team lost to us due to my rebuttals.. it was a friendly match among classmates but man, I was so proud of my medal-less 'win'.
My dad is also very musically inclined, and having missed out a privileged life (financially), he lived his dream through me, nope, he didn't make a mould of himself in me, he encouraged me and provided me with all that he could offer, sending me to piano lessons from when the monthly fees were only two figures up to the higher levels where the fees went up to three figures, and bear in mind, that is like maybe 10% or more of his monthly disposable income as a government/civil servant.
When I felt like giving up, he would tell me stories and analogies to keep me motivated, sharing with me his dreams that were unrealised during his youth but he never regretted having to forgo them, if not, he would not have chosen his career path and met my mom and had us three siblings, who gave an entire new meaning to his life.
He is one with words, and I believe it when a writer isn't born, just like every other big talent - a writer isn't born, but trained. I was trained by my father, and then I developed a love for reading thanks to my mother, so I love words, thanks to my upbringing. When classmates dreaded writing essays and learning languages, I embrace them like a fish to water.
Papa, you are not as close to late grandpapa but I was to him and looking back, I could see how similar you both were, the values you both imparted to me further strengthened my core being.. that is of course, not forgetting mama's contribution in raising a bold, outspoken girl who is able to get up no matter how many times she fell down in life. Like literally, the number of bruises and bumps and bleeding whenever I fall, including my clumsy episodes that lasted up till the man I now call my husband started knowing me. It was funny back then, and rest assured I am now a grown woman who is more of less in control of her clumsiness (which I suspect is inherited somehow or other!). I will still stumble in life now and then but thanks to you and mama, I will get up and walk on with a sense of purpose in life.
Happy Birthday, Papa and Happy Mother's Day to the most wonderful parents I could ever hope for. :-)