To-day is Father's Day. So the ritual begins. Who's going to take Dad to breakfast, lunch and dinner? Many weeks ago after Mother's Day, I met a friend and his family together with his parents at a restaurant. He told me it was in lieu of Mother's Day for his two other siblings had "booked" his mother for dinners for the last two days. Lucky parents. I suppose he will have the same arrangement for Father's Day.
Since this is my first post for Father's Day I have to relate my little story, just like what I did for Mother's Day. From next year onwards, I just need to write "Happy Mother's Day" and "Happy Father's Day". Why don't we follow the South Koreans who celebrate "Parents' Day" on May 8. Save time, save petrol, save money! After all you don't take just one of your parents to celebrate, do you?
Apparently the famous psychologist Sigmond Freud said, "I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection." Maybe I can copy him to say, "I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a mother's love."
Whether or not we love our parents right now, it does not change the fact that our fathers protected us and our mothers loved us. Of course, there is always exception to the rule. And how do we express our grattitude? Strangely, I wonder whether you notice? The Westerners compared with Asians, are not so family oriented; but they show their love for the family in a much more expressive manner with hugs and kisses. On the other hand, Asians who have stronger traditional family values do not display their affection physically. Well, I suppose it is our ingrained social behaviour to be more restrained.
For those with happy families, traditional celebrations are occasions to be cherished. These are the opportune time to meet up with other relatives as well. Father's Day is a bit special. Siblings have a good excuse to get together. Now the problems come if siblings are not that friendly to one another. Sound familiar?? To add to the "problem", what if paternal (or maternal) relationship is not that rosy? Mother's Day or Father's Day is really a heart-breaking day to be reminded that you can't express your love and gratitude to your parents. So I will just dedicate this song to my Father who has protected me all his life. The little bits and pieces (my little story) which I am supposed to tell you can actually be gathered here and there, if you read my Mother's Day posting.
AN UPDATE :
Today, Saturday, 31 March 2012, my father passed away peacefully of natural old age, without any physical suffering. The Chinese lunar date is 10th day of the third moon. He was born on 16 April 1921, that made him 91.
He had lived a very challenging life. Being born into a very poor family with a hopeless father, he was given away for adoption, where he was ill-treated throughout his childhood years. He used to tell us stories of how he had to walk as a very young boy to the wet market very early each morning before the sun rose to scavenge for discarded vegetables to feed the ducks and chickens. Sometimes he would be smacked by the vendors on his bald head for being a nuisance.
In the end he made good through hard work, and was able to relax after middle-age. Throughout his life he was always very generous to relatives and friends. Whenever they had any problem with their families they could find sanctury in his humble home. That was why my father was rewarded with a long and healthy life.
May my father have a good rebirth and attain final release in due course from this sorrowful world.
As Buddhists, we contemplate on this recitation on the final lapse of one's journey.
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sama Sambuddhassa
(Homage To The Buddha, The Fully Enlightened One)
Tesamvupa Samo Sukho
(All component things are indeed transient
They are of the nature of arising and decaying
Having come into being, they cease to be
The cessation of this process is bliss!)
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!