On Sunday, my father and I part ways for the rest of the trip. Tiff and I are going to Japan, and he is heading home to Vancouver. Here are 3 things about my father:
1. My father was born with a fisherman heart. He came out of the womb doing the front crawl and the doctor probably said, “This boy has sea legs.” He wakes up before the sun to swim laps until his body goes numb and the only times he ever left my mother and I behind was to go fishing on a boat that he loves almost as much as the ocean. He comes back home with weathered skin and pictures of him with a smile bigger than his catch. His greatest reward is a hook in a lip, but the ironic thing is that he doesn’t like eating fish.
2. When I was in elementary school, my father lost his job. He was unemployed for a very long time, and it wasn’t until I was older that I learned it was because every job that was offered to him required him to leave his family. I grew up watching my father struggle to start his own business. He was a computer engineer trying to learn the world of a businessman; studying company start-up books and working for shit pay at the same time just so my mother and I could remain the epicenter of what makes him move and shake. His biggest regret is not giving up his business, the emporium that he had built with his own two hands, during the last two years of my mother’s life. And that is what he is – not a engineer or a businessman, but a man who loves his family more than any career.
3. My father grew up in a culture where love is not often verbalized and with a belief that everything was his fault. Sometimes things that are not meant to be planted take deep roots, and I always need to remind myself of that before toxic comes out of my mouth (but more often than not, the words have left before that thought crosses my mind). Often (although not always) in my family, anger is shouted and compliments are whispered, but I must always remember that one of the times that I saw my father the most angry was when a boy made me feel like I wasn’t good enough.