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Thread: A Love measured in Memories
01-06-2011 12:05 PM #1
A Love measured in Memories
Hi girls, i chanced upon this article which I thought i should share with you all.. Feel free to share it with your future HTBs!
A love measured in memories
by Jason Wong
Updated 09:02 AM May 29, 2011
A large part of my working life was spent behind bars - as a prison officer. For 17 years, I was surrounded by inmates from different backgrounds; drug addicts and hardcore criminals, among others. I saw first-hand what bad or absent parenting, especially fathering, could do to children and adults.
I knew early on in my own family life (picture), from watching these men and their lives, what kind of father I wanted to be. In recent years, I have been working with at-risk children and youths and multi-problem families, and have been struck by the absence of a father-figure in their lives.
My professional life has taught me a simple principle I hold very dear: It is easier to build boys and children than to fix men and adults.
A few years ago, I did what an article suggested: Close my eyes and recall scenes of my dad and myself.
What I "saw" was me waiting eagerly outside my house for dad to return (he worked in a shipyard) because I missed him; him holding my right hand and teaching me to write Chinese characters - he was educated only up to Primary 4 in China; me snuggling up to his side at night to hear stories of his childhood and how he came to Singapore; his constant advice to me to study hard, not to smoke and drink.
I think about what I would want my daughter and son to recall if they were put through a similar exercise years from now. I hope they would be images of lasting memories we have created for ourselves, of time spent together, playing board games and bedtime routines.
I am reminded of a saying that "if you want to be in your children's memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today".
My commitment to family life was not a natural occurrence. Some years ago, I had a terrible day at work. And what do fathers do after a bad day? We come home and sit in front of our favourite "box" - the Xbox, the computer, the television.
Mine was the TV. This was how I de-stressed. That night, I was watching an early episode of American Idol where contestants made fools of themselves.
My wife asked why I was not helping her with the kids. I didn't want to bother her with my work problems, so I kept quiet. That night, we didn't talk to each other.
The next day I received a long email from her in which she expressed her unhappiness. In the last paragraph, she shared that, while everyone else looked up to me, at work or within my other circles, no one knew what I was like at home.
This was my wake-up call - no point being a hero outside and a zero at home!
I stopped watching TV (I've since resumed watching a bit as my kids are older now). I read to my children, play board games with them and tuck my son into bed at night.
A couple of years ago, I received the best Father's Day gift ever. My son gave me a hand-drawn card. Each page had a picture and a sentence like "Thank you for reading books to me" or "Thank you for telling me ghost stories". When I held that card in my hand, I knew it was all worth the sacrifice.
My dad has been my hero. I am what I am because of the sacrifices he made for his family. I spent a fair bit of time with him at the hospital early this year when he was being treated for cancer. Once, while I was following him closely on a trip to the bathroom to make sure I'd be there to catch him if he fell, it dawned upon me that that was what my dad did for me when I was a little toddler - walking behind me, watching me carefully, ready to dive forward to catch me.
On another occasion, when he was staying with me after his discharge from hospital, I took him downstairs for a walk.
All of a sudden, my dad turned to me and, with a twinkle in his eyes, said: "When you were young, I took you out for walks. Now, you take me out for walks."
As we rested on a bench, my 10-year-old son came up to sit with us. My dad looked at my son and said in dialect: "Your dad looks after you now. Make sure you look after your dad when he is old, just like what he is doing for me now."
My son smiled and nodded, and flew off to play again.
The richness of a father's love is best measured in the lasting memories we leave for our children.
These memories will one day guide them and comfort them as they comfort me.
Jason Wong is part of the team involved in setting up the Dads for Life movement.
07-06-2011 12:13 PM #2
07-06-2011 03:22 PM #3
*touched* thanks for sharing.
10-06-2011 03:08 PM #4
veyr lovely.... thanks fpr posting
14-06-2011 03:37 PM #5
Very meaningful and good as a reminder for husbands/ dads to remember their roles in the family. Husbands and wives have to come together as partners to support one another. If the husband is too tired after work and leaves all the disciplining/ nurturing to the wife, I think the wife will get very resentful and then problems will start to surface. This will end up affecting the children.
08-01-2012 11:41 PM #6
awwww... that's so touching...
01-03-2012 01:15 AM #7
very meaningful read =) thanks for sharing
07-05-2012 03:05 PM #8
wow, thanks for sharing-very nice,comforting truly magical feelings..
19-10-2012 05:58 PM #9
thumbs up!! such a heart warming short story
22-10-2012 09:24 AM #10
I was deeply touched as I read it. Makes me reminisce memories of me and my father too.. This is a must-read for all htb! Thanks for sharing.
By emilyy in forum Bridal Packages & PreparationsReplies: 1Last Post: 11-01-2013, 02:27 PM