Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Year-end Nostalgia

I wonder as I wander
Out under the sky
Why do people I care about
Always have to die?

Are you happy where you are,
Wherever that may be?
I wonder as I wander
Do you still think of me?

Is it nice up there in heaven?
For I know you made it there.
Are the clouds made out of marshmallows?
Do you know I still care?

I look up at the winter sky
And shed a single tear.
I think of all the days gone by,
I'll always hold you dear.

I wonder as I wander
Out under the sky
Why do people I care about
Always have to die?

(Poem by Hilary Begleiter)

My dad suffered from kidney failure and was on dialysis treatment for more than 7 years before succumbing to heart failure in October 1996. I did not have a chance to say goodbye to him, something I deeply regret to this day. I still miss him after all these years and it is not true that time heals the pain of losing a person you loved so dear. Each year-end brings fresh memories of him because he used to cook up a storm for us during the winter-solstice festival held around 22nd/23rd of December. These days, the festival has lost much of its appeal to me simply because its never the same without dad's specialty dishes of braised duck, "Tung-Po" meat and "Fried abacus yam" laced with a good dose of humour at the dinner table. Never one to complain of his hardship, he was a kind and generous man to all who knew him. But to me, he was simply my beloved dad, who gave me his unconditional love, support and devotion and in the process, taught me the important lesson of not taking things and the ups and downs of my life too seriously. I love you Papa, and I miss you terribly.

If you wish to know more about the history behind the Chinese Traditional Celebration of the Winter Solstice Festival, you may log on to here.

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