My dad hardly fell sick, except for the few sniffles and coughs. But, to see my dad sick at home in bed was a sight I could hardly remember ever witnessing. In fact, he was hardly on medical leave throughout his working career. As far as I can remember, he was always working. He'd be up and about working at his make shift table sitting on his favourite rattan chair when I get up to go to school, and later for work. He would still be hard at work as I get ready for bed at night. He seems to enjoy what he does. If ever he did complain about his work, he probably only complained to my mum. We, kids, were too engrossed in our own world to notice much anything else.
My dad was an inspiration not only to his children, but others as well who have crossed path with him. If ever I do meet, till today, any of his former students or people who have come to know him, they will always speak fondly of him.
Coming from a humble background, my dad had worked hard to get to where he was before his sudden demise. He wanted his children to never forget that it is only through sheer hard work that you can succeed. As my siblings and I grew up, we probably could have most of what the other rich kids at that time have, but my parents never spoil us. It was the public bus to school. Pocket money was enough to only buy a packet of mee or nasi lemak and a drink. If we want to buy anything extra, like sweets or toys, we would have to be thrifty in our spendings. But, when it comes to books, my parents spend willingly, because they believe that books can give us a lifetime of knowledge.
I grew up surrounded by books. I have books by my bedside, which I read before retiring for the night. I read in the car on my way to work each day (when my hubby drives and when we are not in some animated discussion of sorts! LOL!) When I have to eat alone, books would always be my trusted and faithful companion, eversince I was a child till today. There must be at least one book in my briefcase as I travel outstation for work, because I don't like spending time waiting at airports doing nothing. Staring at people passing by is not a favourite pass time of mine! LOL! I have been brought up to love books, and I thank my parents for cultivating that interest in me, and today, I hope to cultivate the same kind of interest in my son.
I am glad and feel blessed that my hubby is also an avid reader, and my son has already shown signs of interest in books, reading at every opportunity he gets. When there are no books to be found, the back packet of cereal boxes and orange juices becomes his reading materials! I hope he will grow up to love books the same way my hubby and I do, if not even more so.
Though my dad is no longer with us, I have a lot to be thankful for the way he and my mum had raised us. It had made us a well rounded person. It has made what we are today. We succeeded in life because of what they had made us to become through their guidance, not through force. They thought us to recognise the rights from wrong. They help us to make decisions without actually making the decisions for us made, because they knew that they had taught us well, and that we would make the right decisions.
The constant reminders of where our beginings were, kept us firmly rooted to the ground. Not giving in too easily to all our whims and fancies as we grew up made us to appreciate even the little things in our lives.
Thank you, Ma. We love you!