See how the love is, reciprocated between the father and the son? The love they’d shared, is truly, amazing, translated…
My mother also told me, that my father felt helpless, at my academic performance for a long time, and, the only intervention he’d come up with was, work hard, driving his cab, to save up a sum of money for my sakes, so even if I’d failed to get a high enough grade on my college entrance exams, I can afford to get the cram school sessions at Nanyang Street, to work hard, to perform better again………
That was, after the grades of the college entrance were posted, my father came with me to my first day at Taipei University. After we’d gotten familiarized with the dorm room with three roommates, and placed ALL the stuff I’d hauled from home, including the quilts for the winters and the summers packed up by my mother, he’d decided, to buy me a shaving blade.
a father who puts in the time, to show the love for his own son, not my photograph…
Before he’d left my dormitory, on the way to the shops opposite of the university campus, maybe, it’s how I’d encountered an assortment of hairstyles, way of dress, giving that scent of freedom in the college years, that’s made me, more relaxed. Under this sort of a relaxed state of mind, I, who’d never struck up a conversation with my father, let my guards down, and, that image of how strict my father was, no longer scared me, and I’d asked him how he’d felt about my roommates whom he’d just met.
I’d forgotten what my father’s replies were, but, my mother told me, that he’d, kept this conversation close to his heart all these years.
My mother told me, back then, my father never entered into ANY college or university campuses, but, he was, very ecstatic, of having a son who’d gotten into a university, for him, this meant, that his son will become, a different man that he had been, no longer needed to manually labor, and can be a pencil pusher. And at that moment I’d inquired, without any intentions on his opinions, he’d, cherished it deeply, not only because in that precise moment, it was the very first time I’d, discuss the matters with him like an adult; more importantly, it’s how he felt he could, contribute something to his son, who’s taken, a different path that he.
In my father’s mind, “labor” and “knowledge” was, two separate levels of ways of living, labor was toward the bottom, while knowledge, was toward the top, and, being at the top, is way better, than being at the bottom, had more glory, and a better future too. And because of this, my father who’d driven a cab to make a living his whole life, always spoke on how hard I’d had it, because he didn’t get enough education, and, studying was, a grueling thing to him. As my father told me this, he’d looked, serious, had that scent of apologetic means too, and, his voice too, sounded, timid as well, as if, he felt sorry, he couldn’t, help me anyway in my studies. But, I’d often felt, guilty, believed, that he’d, slaved his life away, driving his cab, worked hard, to help make ends meet, he was the one, with the hardest trials of life, but, although I’d thought this way, but because as I’d gotten almost NO time to spend with him growing up, after hearing him, I’d still, kept my silence, I’d not even, dared, gazed upon his guilty looks, I can only, worked hard, to study, to make my own way, through the towers of, academia.
not my photograph…
I’d recalled even earlier times, on the day of my college entrance, my father didn’t go out to work, instead, he’d, given me a lift to the testing place early, but, parked his car by the side of the road, my father who had always been very cautious, left his car keys inside that time. Thankfully, the windows by the driver’s side wasn’t completely rolled up, and my thin arms could, get into it. My father originally wouldn’t allow me to try to get his keys, fearing, that I may, hurt myself, and delayed entering into the test classroom, but, before he finished telling me no, and I’d not thought on it much, I’d gone with this impulse, of wanting to help him out, slowly, stuck my arm in, then, tiptoed, allowing my elbows to straighten, so I can, get deeper into the windows.
Within fifteen minutes, the car doors were, opened. And, as the doors opened up, my father hurriedly made his way into his cab, rolled down the windows in supersonic speed, saw how I was able to, retract my arms, then, let out a sigh of relief, then immediately, he’d, locked up his cab, and walked with me, into the testing room, to find a cool place, so I can have the last amount of time, to review over the test materials. It’s at this moment, did I realize, how nervous my father was, in facing this test that is to change my life, how he’d cared, so deeply, about how well I was to do on it.
Actually, before the exams, I’d already, secretly, taken the exams for the military academy. During those times, that rate of acceptance for universities was sixty-percent, and military schools were the methods of getting a higher education for high school graduates, but back then, my homeroom teacher believed that there’s a future for the students going into the military academies, and would give sermon-like speeches, on the good points in getting into a military academy, and, as I’d heard, all of these benefits that could, help out with my family’s economics, had taken the place of my imaginations of starting as a freshman in college, and attracted a lot of students from poorer backgrounds, I was, one of whom, the program had, attracted.
My father didn’t know that I’d, taken the entrance exams to the military school. Until I’d gotten accepted, before I was assigned to the units, the naval school’s officials came to congratulate me, and gave me the orientation notices, and invited me to go tour the campus and the battleships. That day, I’d gone out with my classmates to play basketball, it wasn’t until I’d come home, my mother told me about it, she said, that the officers who’d come to congratulate me looked so full of flair, how shiny the white dress shirts were, how kindly they’d talked on, but, as my father accepted the invitation, without hearing out the explanations of the programs the military academies offered, he’d, KICKED them out, and screamed out at them, “No child of mine will go to a military school, NEVER!”
Afterwards, I thought my father would blame me for acting without telling him first, but, he’d just, asked my mother to return the invitation to the military academy back to me, asked me to not sign up for the courses. My father’s aloof reactions, made me feel, like I’d done something wrong, and so, I’d fallen, silent, not dared to say another word, just wondered on my own, I thought, that my father didn’t want me to go into the military academy because I was an only son; and that the military had too many dangers, and I was, too weak to go through the trials.
After that, as the results of the college entrance exams were posted, I’d still chosen the normal universities, and, I’d never mentioned how I’d, wanted to go to military school again, like it’d, never happened. Until 2010, on the day my father died, I was, already a pencil pusher for many years in Taipei, one day, I was, talking with my mother as she’d recalled the past, I’d finally understood, what my father thought back then.
My mother told me, that my father actually understood why I’d signed up for the military academy, but because of it, he’d, blamed himself too, felt awful, and believed that he was, a failure as a father. My mother also told me, that my father felt helpless, at how my grades swayed up and down, and the only intervention he could come up with was, driving his cab harder, to help me save up the money for university, that even as I’d failed in my entrance exams, he could send me to Nanyang Street to cram again.
After hearing, I’d felt, so very, desperate.
In my desperation, I couldn’t help, but recalled the day I’d picked up my grades for my college entrance from my high school, because I’d scored in the middle, there was, NO way I could get into a public university, after I’d gotten home, I was, so upset I’d gone into my room to hide, my father who’d worked less shifts came home early, became somewhat anxious too, as he saw how defeated I was. After awhile, he’d acted so calm and collected, and inquired about my grades. I’d not looked at him, just hung my head low, said, in a shaky voice, that I did get in, but couldn’t get into a public university, only a private institution. Up to here, it’s, as if my father knew what I was going to say next, but he’d stopped me from talking, he’d immediately told me, just so long as I got into a school. That it was, okay, no big deal.
a proud dad! Not my photograph…
At that moment, it was, close to noon, the sun had, brighten up the outside of our house, in contrast to my father and I in the room, it felt, that we were, surrounded by this darkness. But, I kept feeling, that my father was crying, as I had been back then too.
So, this, is how this father showed his emotional support for his own son, who’d not gotten into the university that he’d wanted to get in, and the reason why the son wanted to get into a public institution, was to help lessen the load that his father was carrying, providing for the family, driving a cab, and, this man must’ve watched his father works so hard, driving his cab, that, was what drove him to want to get into a public institution, as the private tuitions are a hell of a lot higher.