Posted by: tathsing | July 11, 2010

It takes tears to raise a child

It was a routine Sunday for me as I woke up early but not early enough to catch the 3rd and 4th placing match of the 2010 World Cup between Uruguay and Germany.

So the early morning was spend reading my Bible and checking my Facebook account.

Then it was to an early breakfast before going off to Sunday church service.

As the norm, I would spend my Sunday after church reading the Star. So I came across this article which I reproduced here (without their permission) but with thanks to them.
……………………………………………………………………………
Sunday July 11, 2010
It takes tears to raise a child
By AMY LIM

A WISE man once said: “ When you die, you change into a brilliant star and turn the otherwise dark sky bright.

“The death of a loved one should not be sorrowful. It should not shut out all the light in your life. Instead, your world will be a little brighter because there’ll a ray of light shining on you from above, as you journey in life.”

***

I stormed up the stairs and slammed the door hard. My face was red, as always, upon the slightest hint of frustration. And the “culprit” this time was my father.

“Dad, I’ve told you for the hundredth time – I hate school. I hate studying. Why can’t I just start working?” I fumed like a 10-year-old, all the while crossing my hands across my chest as I stood before my 50-something father.

Just this morning, dad had caught me in the local cafeteria serving sodas and breads sticks when I should be at school studying algebra. He dragged me to his car in front of the diners and drove home without a word. For the first time in his life, he’d taken time off from work.

“No. You’re definitely not working at this age. I’m not discussing this any further.”

Profanities threatened to make themselves heard but I gulped them down. I started to protest but he beat me to it.

“Not when you still have so much to learn. I had promised your mother to look after you and give you the very best in life. Now that she is no longer around, it’s time I lived up to my words.”

I tried to reason with dad, but to no avail. He was just too stubborn.

Our disagreements had accumulated over the two years since mum’s death. Of course, we still ate dinner together every night – he was very particular about family values.

Dad couldn’t really cook – we had had burnt omelettes and wilted vegetable salads – so we relied heavily on home-delivery.

But we’d never had a proper conversation before. That was because when we did talk, we always ended up quarrelling, no matter how trivial the subject.

Most of the time, I’d busy myself with the food while he made small talk, to arouse my interest perhaps.

I still remember the last outing we had six years ago. It was to a picnic at Hyde Park and I was 10 then.But we both ended up in hospital because of food poisoning.

“You listen to me, young lady. You’re going to do whatever I say, like it or not.”

“But why should I do something I don’t like, something I despise so much just because you say so?” That sounded ridiculous to me.

“Because I’m your dad.”

“But …”

“No more buts.”

I cursed under my breath.

***

I looked up with glassy eyes, feeling a bit disorientated. Miss Mayer turned to me with a grave look on her usually composed face. Her voice shaking, she said: “The principal wishes to see you in his office immediately.”

I was sitting by my father’s side in the hospital, listening to his faint heartbeats. I had told him everything would be fine. If only that was true …

“Promise not to cry. I will always be there for you. Mum and dad have always hoped that our daughter will be our pride.” His face was contorted in pain. Tears glistened in his half-closed yes as he held on to my hand.

“I will. Don’t worry about me.” His breathing started to falter. My tears welled up.

“That’s daddy’s child.” With that, he smiled his last.

“Sorry … and thanks. For everything,” I whispered in his ear before planting a final kiss on his pale cheek.

***

“Doctor, I don’t want …” The expectant mother had begged me to abort her months-old foetus.

“Think again. He is a gift from God. A great companion for when you are sick, happy or sad. Come to me tomorrow if you still don’t want him and I’ll wheel you to the theatre myself.”

I don’t know if I had her convinced, but I hope I did.

The night was serene, with stars twinkling madly above. I sat by the windowsill, appreciating the beauty around me.

Looking up the sky, I noticed one star shining brighter than the rest. I smiled to myself and hummed my favourite lullaby. Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are ….

Parents and their children at any age can have different points of view over just about everything. Or do they? We invite parents and children to write in to show us where the generation gap closes and widens. E-mail us at starmag@thestar.com.my.

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