In celebration of Father’s Day, I dedicate this post to you. Growing up, you’ve been a mother, a father, a mentor and a friend.
While there are a million reasons why I’m thankful to have you as my mum, today I want to share with you three reasons.
You made the ultimate sacrifice
In Christmas 2000, you made the ultimate sacrifice in affording me the opportunity to grow up in Australia.
Being a single mum and first-generation immigrant, you left behind your 20-odd year career, said goodbye to your lifelong friends and families and bid farewell to the only way of life we’ve ever known.
I was too young to comprehend the sacrifice you made for me then and perhaps too young to comprehend it still. Regardless, I’m sure it was an extremely difficult decision and I hope that when you’re looking back on it, you feel assured that the decision was the right one.
Back home, you were a qualified structural engineer and property evaluator. When we got here, not knowing a word of English, I can’t imagine how hard it would’ve been for you to pick up a low-paying job, one that was completely unrelated to your background or career.
I hate to think how hard you’ve had to work over the past 15 years in getting us here.
I hate to think how often you may have missed your best friends and how often you may have felt lonely when I’m not around.
In reading this, I hope you know that the degree of sacrifice you made for me is insurmountable. It is incomprehensible. Know that I am grateful for everything you’ve done for us. Whatever may come, I’m ready to support you.
You readied me for the world
I also want to thank you for preparing me for what the world has to offer.
When I was in kindergarten, I remember wrapping my arms around you on our way to swimming school on your bicycle. I recall the intense resentment I felt the day I was penalised with doing another 2,000m for slacking off during training. In the pool that night, I swam and cried at the same time. The laps went on and on, so long that the janitor left and turned the lights off. After that night, I was determined to never go back but you encouraged me to go on. Today, I am grateful for that day, every time I dive into the ocean without hesitation or fear.
Similarly, you’ve cultivated in me an appreciation for seeing the beauty in people through my drawing classes, an appreciation for music through my saxophone lessons and an appetite for adventure through the annual trips around China you took me on.
Today, the world has so much to offer. Thanks to you, I am able to launch out into the deep, knowing that I have acquired the necessary skills to keep my head above the water.
You set me free
Last but not least, I want to thank you for entrusting me to choose my own life path.
There have often been times when you did not understand or approve of my life decisions, like the days I came home with piercing or tattoos or the nights where I didn’t come home at all (being completely irresponsible). For the most part, you bit your tongue and resisted the urge to interfere. And as a consequence, you created room for me to learn from my own mistakes and grow in the process.
In setting me free (which must’ve been difficult at times), I’ve become a better person.
Your grateful son.
“No gesture is too small when done with gratitude.”
– Oprah Winfrey