My Dad

By Rei Tanotsuka, 20 June 2020

This is a Quora post, but it really deserves a place on my blog. Thanks Dad!

What’s the Best Advice Your Dad Gave You?

My dad didn’t give me great advice, he showed me.

My dad is an orphan. He was born in the rural areas of Malaysia to an indigenous Malaysian woman, who passed away while giving birth to him at home.

Apparently my dad was still attached to the umbilical cord when my uncle found him and my grandmother, who was already on her last few breaths.

3 months later, my grandfather was gutted alive by a wild boar, leaving behind my dad and his siblings under the care of my great grandmother.

My great grandmother passed away when my dad was around 5, and then he was under the care of his aunt. At the age of 8, his aunt decided that he was too much of a burden, so she and her husband, took him from Malaysia to Singapore, dropped him off a local cafe/diner, and told the owner to accept him as junior worker.

So from the age of 8, my dad has been working.

From the age of 5, he longer had people who loved him, to teach him right from wrong, no father or mother figure to show him what normalcy looks, or feels like.

My dad however, is one of THE GREATEST MEN I know. He is kind, patient and HAPPY.

He made the wonderful family he was never fortunate enough to grow up in. Destiny forgot to give him a proper family as child, so my dad made sure he participated in the creation of one as an adult.

He has remained loyal, faithful and loving to mum, who can be difficult at times, but nothing she does or says, can ever be enough for him to walk away, because unlike most who pine for solitude, my dad actually understands what being left alone really means.

This is the man my dad is.

When we all still in primary school, mum and dad prepared us for a trip to my mum’s home – Singapore! Don’t ask me how, but mum accidentally threw ALL our passports into those big industrial metal bins in Australia, the type that can carry a few people inside.

My dad, without a word of condemnation or even anger, just went straight to the bins, found the one she threw them in, dived in and fished them out. We were all waiting for him, and when he emerged, I can attest that no Olympic gold medallist could ever hope to achieve the accolades and thunderous applause we showered on dad. There was no medal given, but my dad, in my eyes will always be a champion!

My dad showed me that you don’t need to be surrounded by love to understand what it is.

You do not have to get a nomination by a fancy institution to be the best dad in the world and finally, you don’t have to be Romeo and Juliet to have a love story worth telling.