Memories from the childhood years, translated…
A few days ago, I’d gone to a relative’s place in the countryside to share the offerings, before I left, my relative handed me a bag of leftovers with the chicken rolls, fried pork and fried shrimps for me to take home; my relative’s love took me back, through that tunnel of time, to the days, where I’d, accompanied my father.
My father who’d very generous, and an amazing cook, had always been the man the relatives turned to when they needed to plan a celebration. Every year, my father would take me southbound, to help a friend in preparing the meals for a grand offering, this, was the most exciting thing in my young life. After getting on the trains, other than the packed pork chop lunch, I’d hoped, that my father can buy me the popsicle, with pineapple flavors on the top half, and the red beans on the bottom half for me to eat.
picture from the papers…
As the banquet is over, my uncle would pack up a huge portion of food which his guests didn’t even get a chance to eat, to bring it home with us, and, this banquet meal plan continued until my first year in high school, after my uncle moved up north too, then, it’d, ended.
After my father passed, our two families had, slowly, drifted, a few years ago, I’d gotten my uncle’s phone number from a family relative, I’d invited him to my home on my father’s memorial to share a meal. On the other end of the phone came my uncle’s excited voice, but he’d said, that he is no longer mobile or able-bodied, and lost his appetite too, that he’d not chosen, to come for a visit with us, “Just let me, miss your father alone on this very day then!”, he’d told me.
After the day of my father’s death passed, I’d gone to my uncles to visit with him, as he saw me, he’d started, smiling so radiantly. We’d had tea, and, talked about my father. My uncle told, that my father was his best friend, that every time he’d needed any help, he’d, given him all the assistance he’d needed; “Back then, he’d come and help me set up the banquets annually, I’d once told him that I’ll put up the money it cost, but, he’d insisted on not taking the money, and so, I can only, pack up the leftovers to have him take back home, and, he’d accept the leftovers because he’d not wanted me to feel bad.”
this is the larger scale meals from the weddings or other sorts of celebrations here, not my photograph.
He’d taken a sip of his tea, continued, “That was during a time when nobody has enough money, your father needed to take care of your huge family, but, he’d used the excuse of helping me prepare the banquets to take you traveling, see how much he loved you. He’d once told me, that he’d needed to, train his son well………”, before I left, my uncle thanked me for visiting him, and told me, that, very shortly, he will, meet back up with dad.
Yes, my disciplinarian father used his own actions and words to teach us, he’d taught me, how to treat others, and how to give everything to his friends, and, I shall, cherish all these memories of the leftovers for my entire life.
So, this, is how the father managed, to make a difference in the life of his own young son, by letting him see how he treated his friends and family, and, the son surely had, picked up on the father’s behavior too.