Monday, June 11, 2007

Three Things Come Not Back - Father's Day thoughts

My father was very learned and his classroom was our dinner table. When we were young we enjoyed having dinner with him, even though he was stern and rather unsmiling. We thought he did not like to smile because he was getting on in his years. He had married our mother late so as a father, he was very much older than other dads who lived in our neighbourhood.

During dinner,he would tell us stories with moral lessons. And sometimes we had to guess the lessons we could learn from his stories. In that way, he made us think really hard. Sometimes it was painful because his story that day would teach us a lesson which made us feel really guilty. He did not beat us like other fathers would do and for that we were very grateful. His recounts were good enough to bring us up properly.

He was as great reader in both Chinese and English. One of the things which offended the Japanese Occupation Army in Sibu between 1941 and 1946 was English reading matter. My father had a lot of English books in his study, and that was found out by the Japanese army when they went around checking the homes of the Chinese. My father was thus arrested and jailed for about three months. He was quite badly beaten and perhaps that was one of the reasons why he died a rather premature death.

I have a lot of good memories of my father and have also piled up a lot of "treasures" from his library, besides the dishes he taught my mother to cook.

Here is one of the treasures taken from one of his books:

Three Things Come Not Back

Remember three things come not back
The arrow sent upon its track-
It will not swerve, it willnot stay
Its speed;it flies to wound, or slay.
The spoken word so soon forgot
By thee;but it has perished not;
In other hearts 'tis living still
And doing work for good or ill.
And the lost opportunity
That comethback no more to thee,
In vain thou weepest,in vain dost yearn
Those three will nevermore return.

author unknown...

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