A Father

As my father left for the airport, my heart felt heavy seeing him as he took his time struggling with his luggage.  How small he seems to have become; a shadow of the militaristic disciplinarian I knew as a child.  Once upon a time, he towered the whole family.  My brother swore he could reach the ceiling.  We remember our father with all the fear, admiration, and respect he deserves.  He certainly made his presence felt because I cannot at all imagine life without him.  As children, the 3 of us might have spent our early lives disliking at least one parent only to reach maturity with a grudge.    At 62, my father’s snowy white hair makes him appear older while his bulging stomach is a concern.  I wonder whether he can still see his toes when he attempts to look at the ground.  Now, my brother is taller, my sister has a sharper tongue and I walk faster than little Sowon’s grandfather.  At 62, health should be his priority but his stubbornness supersedes my impatience or more accurately, he still upholds the belief that it has not suffered in the last 25 years and so he thinks that he can still do a sky jump from Daegu Tower as I did the year I left the calendar.

As my father left for the airport, my heart felt heavy knowing I was not going to see him till Christmas.  It is funny how one spends the majority of one’s youth trying to leave the nest only to struggle trying to move back in years later.  I think my siblings feel the same because at least today, we have become parents to our parents. I have lost my way too often in my lifetime but my father always managed to find me. I remember trying to run away from home after a disagreement with Mother but I only got as far as the neighbourhood park.  I remember sitting down in the middle of the field in the darkness as I stared at my house.  I remember being lost in thought between going back to what was familiar and what an adventure I was going to have as scary as it were.  Then, I remember my father quietly coming to sit beside me and stare at the same house I called home. Neither of us said anything.  He was just there.  I am not as old as my father but I must admit my memory has failed me too many times but if I can remember only one thing, it is that I have a father.

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