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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Far From The Madding Crowd

Yesterday, dad and I went to the British Consulate, as a respite from the shopping mum and I have been doing NON-STOP for a week.

You know what his Christmas present to me is?

He re-did his Last Will and Testament, giving me outright all the land, possessions, and jewelry he had inherited from his parents in England.

(Before, my mother and I shared it 50/50, but she had waived her rights a fortnight ago, unbeknownst to me)

What can you say to a gift like that?

It's a touch of winter's cold gripping your heart.

As final and matter-of-fact as any fait-accompli has a right to stand for.

CONTINUED

I finished the blogpost too abruptly. Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, there was a distant, cerebral man who worked 18 hour days, but who feared his wife spoilt their only child too much.

Being of a misanthropic disposition, thinking the world a rotten, disease-ridden rat trap, ready to gobble up his little girl if he didn't "toughen" her up, he was charry with treats, and sparse in compliments.

Why, even his "treats" had the flavour of bittersweetness.

Like when he took his little girl to Niagara Falls, and though she dearly wanted to go in the little ferry, he said no.

Instead, he took her, wife and visiting sister-in-law to a photographer's studio, for a cheesy, touristy "snap" with the 4 of them in a barrel, with a backdrop of the Falls behind them.

Everyone in the photo had a cheesy, touristy look of faked fright on their faces.

Except the little girl.

She had the sullen look of the spoilt little rugrat who hadn't gotten her way.

She didn't care if she ruined the picture.

She didn't care if her dad spent just as much of his hard-earned money on that snap.

She just wanted to go in that ferry.

He felt angry, and sad, and frustrated, and sad, and hurt, and sad.

A pall descended on the rest of the day.

But such are fairy tales -- suspended in time, the same story told in the same words, without alteration. In real life, the characters grow up and learn their lessons.

So yesterday, when the consulate official stamped dad's Will, authenticating it as correct, I turned around, and kissed him, and whispered, "thanks Dad", patting him lovingly on his arm.

"Thanks Dad", is all he ever wanted to hear from me, all those years ago.

Two little words which children seem to be unable to utter, because they're so wrapped up in thinking about what they SHOULD get, as if the world owed them something, all the time.

But fairy tales aren't true.

The love of a father providing for his child after he's left this earth, is real. Very real.

There's no finer lesson to be learnt in this life than gratitude, and maybe, just maybe, the spoilt little girl has finally learnt it.

8 Comments:

  • Sometimes little girls grow up to be you and a man knows he has done his best and he has succeeded.

    By Blogger Paul, at Thu Dec 22, 09:07:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Ah, my case is quite the opposite...there was considerable acrimony between my father and myself... my mailman was more supportive and kinder than my old man...so, I didn't go to his funeral, and, indeed, I have no idea where he's even buried...

    Just like he did with his father...

    So be grateful indeed for such support and love! I'm very happy for you, Victoria, and Merry Christmas!

    By Blogger Ron, at Thu Dec 22, 09:57:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Merry Christmas, Vic.

    By Blogger JSU, at Fri Dec 23, 01:58:00 am GMT-5  

  • Sometimes little girls grow up to be you and a man knows he has done his best and he has succeeded.

    Aww. Thanks Paul. :)

    Coincidentally, something like that happened on Wednesday...

    Although as much as my father does the most loving stuff for me, like what I described, he cannot TELL me he loves me, he did mention something to my mother afterwards, that touched me a lot.

    After the consulate sojourn, we went to a restaurant, the 3 of us, in SoBe.

    Behind us were some extremely loud, good-looking model-types and their posse of friends of all colours, and backgrounds.

    What a row they made, and remember what I said about my folks liking quiet and restrained manners in people.

    (See "The Cuban-American")

    My parents were not amused, although I made them laugh by saying, "What, don't you remember being young once?".

    Later that night, my father turned around to my mother and said, "You know, I was really proud of Vicky, compared to all those models. She doesn't have to make a ruckus to be noticed."

    Hah. He's never been to my blog! Right, right? Give me five!

    (But I still choked up when my mother told me...why can't he tell me that, hmm, you men out there? Tell meeeeee)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Dec 23, 10:32:00 am GMT-5  

  • Ah, my case is quite the opposite...there was considerable acrimony between my father and myself... my mailman was more supportive and kinder than my old man...so, I didn't go to his funeral, and, indeed, I have no idea where he's even buried...

    Oh honey, I'm so sorry.

    Just like he did with his father...

    *sigh*

    But I...I don't know how to say this without sounding condenscending, but I praise you for being honest.

    You're a talented writer, and you are honest.

    No father can ask for more.

    So be grateful indeed for such support and love!

    Support, yes. Love, yes. But Ron, my turn to be honest -- my dad and I are distant emotionally from one another.

    In fact, the story above was a small window as to why.

    The problem seems to be, as it always is with child and parent, that we're just too similar in personality -- but have diametrically opposed views in almost everything.

    I'm very happy for you, Victoria, and Merry Christmas!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS RON! :)

    (More later ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Dec 23, 10:38:00 am GMT-5  

  • Merry Christmas, Vic.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS, JSU!

    (More later!!...what, you didn't think I would go this holiday without a little chinwag, did you?)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Fri Dec 23, 10:40:00 am GMT-5  

  • A lot of fathers and daughters have bittersweet relationships. I notice it with my sister and father who often clash heads but are also more affectionate at the same time. I'm not sure why that is.

    You're always daddy's little girl.

    By Blogger Renato, at Fri Dec 23, 12:48:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Later that night, my father turned around to my mother and said, "You know, I was really proud of Vicky, compared to all those models. She doesn't have to make a ruckus to be noticed."

    Hah. He's never been to my blog! Right, right? Give me five!

    (But I still choked up when my mother told me...why can't he tell me that, hmm, you men out there? Tell meeeeee)


    Well, he should come to your blog and see what a comely comedian he has raised and a sweetheart adored by many.
    But, why he can't quite tell you how much he loves you. I only know some fathers can and some can't even if the love is equal. You may need to tell him what you need, if you do, be prepared for an emotional moment, he may not be able to handle his feelings when he tells you.
    Such is the make-up of men who are quiet and reserved, strong and insistent on principles, who fear nothing except what you ask.
    It's not a distance you think in his heart, it is a fear of showing what is in there, probably the only fear he knows. Irrational? Heck yes. He'd die for you, he can't say those three words why.
    My two cents.

    By Blogger Paul, at Fri Dec 23, 03:29:00 pm GMT-5  

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