I must say the following is not a fiction at all--in fact this is one of the most unforgettable moments in my life. Now sit back and enjoy!]
He looked very fragile. His eyes drooped heavily and looked like he was in great pain. But still, his smile was very vivid and soothing. He was about fifty one years old, six feet tall, with black hair, brown eyes, a tall nose and his facial was bit pale. He dressed in coffee-colored shirt with black pants.Sitting across from me, beside a dining table was my father.
For whatever reason it may be, it was just the two of us and I liked it that way. He and I, spending a special moment together. As much as I enjoyed that moment, I was lost for words. I wanted to say a lot of things to him or perhaps chat with him like I used to. My mind was struggling to find a topic to discuss or perhaps some comforting words to him, but, again, I was met with dead end.
“Are you ready and packed?” He broke the silence.
I looked at him intensely and replied, “Yes, father.”
“I want you to know that there is nothing that I can give but an opportunity to study abroad to broaden your knowledge.” He continued with his even voice, but I could tell it was tightly controlled.
Struggling to hold in my tears and I managed, “Yeah …”
“Once you are successful, I want you to take care of your siblings. Is that okay with you?” He was on the roll.
“Um … of course!” Yet again, I coughed up a couple words before finding myself running toward the kitchen. I couldn’t control my rolling tears. They just kept rolling down and they wouldn’t even listen to me. I kept asking them to stop and go way, but still they stuck around like magnets.
After a moment that seemed like an eternity and simply a heartbeat at the same time, I finally walked back to the dining room and sat down—again, across from him. I felt like he was looking right into my heart as he went on talking like no time had lapsed between when our last words were exchanged.
“Even though, I can’t leave you much wealth in money, knowledge in itself is a wealth. If you study well, knowledge can help you build on your own wealth. Money would be gone in no time if we are not managing it well, but knowledge that you gain will accompany you and will open up many avenues in your life and perhaps bring you much more rewards other than money.”
I nodded in silence, again struggling to block the gush of water that was about to pour again from my eyes. He seemed not to know that I was struggling inside or perhaps he chose to ignore that and went on, “Once you have the knowledge, you could use it anyway you want. And that would be your foundation to your life that you can build upon. Knowing you, I know that you would be successful someday. I hope, you don’t forget to look back and take your siblings’ hands with you. And pass on this gift that I have given you.”
I nodded again and this time, I let out a bit of my trembling voice, “I would father. I would!”
That was it, the last dine that we shared and one of the most unforgettable moments in my life. I took his advice and absorbed as much knowledge as I could and passed it on. I did! I lent my hands to all of my siblings—younger and older. And like me, they are also doing well. This gift didn’t stop there, I am passing it on to my girls as well.
My father had passed on to another world when he turned fifty two, six months after our last encountered and I was not there to witness it. It had been years since he had disappeared from this world, but somehow he is always there in my heart, and perhaps he is watching me from there. I have treasured the gift that he had given to me. I never stop learning. Everywhere I go, be it my girls’ field trips, be it the vacation visiting museum, archeology sites, I am always there in the front, listening intensely. As one of my co-workers noted, “One of the things that I admire about you is your spirit of learning!” Today, my father’s gift has been rooted in my family and I know it would be passed on to many more generations.
I hope you enjoy this little stop looking into one of the most unforgettable moments in my life --the time when I received the most unforgettable gift: knowledge.
Journey of Life