The love unspoken, but expressed in all other ways, between this daughter toward her father, translated…
That day, I’d prepared my father’s supper for him, he’d blurted out, “I feel so blessed, to have you as my daughter! My daughter really treats me, wonderfully!” and his demeanor didn’t sound like the joking he’d used many a year on end, nor was it an exaggerated sort of encouragement, it was more like the tip of the ball-point pen, on paper, and the ink just, seeped out, naturally., then, slowly, spreading out.
I’d pretended I’d not heard him, focused on setting the table, and, turned on the fifty-fourth episode of the Ancient Chinese soap, so the old man who’s closing in on seventy can, get into, the Ching Dynasty immediately, and, that was, that.
In the deep on the nights, the words of my father, caused me to toss and turn.
Was this the very first time he’d given me words of praise? Yes, and no. I’d longed for his approval since I was growing up, so I’d worked my best, to be, a perfect child in his eyes, got into N.T.U., applied for my graduate studies abroad, entered into the field of, finance…….and of course, my father gave me the accolades, affirmed my hard work, but for a daughter, those words of praises, were too, superficial, his alternative motive was the core of it all: be a good daughter.
illustration from UDN.com
And yet, in this, historical moment, I’d not taken my father’s hand in mine, or like a three-year-old, rammed into his arms, not even, a smile. Toward his thoughtfulness, his daughter, no responses, instead, I’d, tried to, escape it, I’d recalled the term, “phony syndrome”, was it that in my, subconscious, I’d still felt, not quite deserving of, his praises yet?
After my mother passed, every year I’d taken my father abroad on trips, the U.S., India , New Zealand…….I’d set up the itineraries. I’d even bought him a business class airfare on the trip to the U.S., took him to the N.B.A. draft-pick games; he’d still chimed on to his friends, how Mitchell can really, jump high, but I couldn’t, recall a single name from the players’ group. My father’s photography skills are, way inferior than my mom’s, loving the beautiful photos, I’d given up and, turned all of the photos with me in it on that trip, as accidental gains, and just, focused on taking shots of my father, which became a bragging right for him in his group of elders.
During the time of the outbreak, I’d cooked for my father every single day, not too greasy, clean, and sanitary, and reduced his going outside, to avoid contraction; every time mealtime rolled around, the foods would be served on the table, and I’d, tried encouraging him to wash his hands more often. And whenever we had our differences of opinions, I’d, found that hideout in my room, to try to come up with ways, to break the ice with him, and, asked my husband how my father-in-law’s frames of mind worked to use as a model; in his capableness, I’d set up the electronic devices for him, wrote down the steps to use them, hoping that he could, be comfortable at home, and forget about the inconvenience that the pandemic had, caused in his, life.
The habits formed in fourteen days, and my father, is man too.
I’d not thought about getting any praises from him, because this, is my duty to him as his daughter, but, those behaviors, not for short-term, maybe, it’d spanned across the decades of our, lives, surpassing the few months’ of the pandemic growing.
I’m no imposter, I’m, definitely, his offspring.
I would NOT ask him, the words he’d blurted out that evening, was it intentional, or was it, long-time-coming, nor would I have the courage to apologize, and, that “good daughter”, had used her silence, and the lack of expressions on her face, to respond to the applauses she’d been hoping to get for more than thirty years on end. Even as I penned this article down, my fingers are, tingling from the nerves. Thankfully, I have his blood that flows through me, this is definite, believing, that so long as I have the time to be with him, if he stays healthy, this would be, a perfect love we will have, to share.
And, this is the love of a daughter for her father, and, maybe she may not blurt the word I love you out loud, but, her actions showed how much she’d cared, and loved her father, and I’m more than certain, that her father feels her love too.