My Pa was born in May 1932, as one of the seven children of a former Indonesian military officer – who died after World War II, and a stay-at-home mom – who died in 1975.
During his college year, my Pa taught Math and English in high school. But soon he quit after being admitted to one government institution in his hometown.
My Pa married my Ma in 1957, and a year later my big brother was born in Jakarta.
I have three siblings and one half sister – from my Pa’s previous relationship. All of them are married but my half sister had died of breast cancer – she had two children, and my sibling no. 2 had also died in a traffic accident in 1987. She had one daughter.
My big brother is married to an Indonesia-born Chinese lady and has two sons; while my big sister no. 3 resides in America with her husband and their three children. And as for me, I am a writer and educator, who married to an Indonesia-born Chinese man and have one son who is now studying in the U.S.
As the youngest of four, or five if I include our half sister, I was the closest one to my Pa – closest means spending more time with him compares to my other siblings. That was when I learn about his values and admired the richness of his knowledge.
Long before the internet exist, my Pa, who was a newspaper enthusiast, was sharing stories about his childhood life, family, relatives, friends, favorite movies (and movie stars), favorite TV series, favorite song (and singers), and political related issues etc. If it wasn’t for him, I would not know about the Beatles, about the phenomenal Jim Reeves who died in a plane crash accident in 1964 (so Aaliyah was not the first one), about Skeeter Davis’ heartbroken hits “The End of the World”, about Bob Marley’s attempt to comforting his wife through “No Woman, No Cry”, about the beauty of watching soccer, about the artistic of boxing – even though I failed to recognize that artistic idea until today, and so on. And he did it without googling! – note: Google was founded in 1998. He was (indeed) a living Wikipedia for me 🙂
My Pa was a person with exceptional consistency. As far as I can remember, he never failed to wake up at 3 am, read his Bible and pray (with my Ma), playing his favorite records at 3.30 am, go out for his morning walk, knocking at our bedroom doors just to make sure that we are all wake up at 5 am, preparing breakfast (bread and jam or pancake, and hot sweet tea – yum!), and waiting for his daily newspaper to be delivered to our doorstep. And even when he grew older, his habitual remains unchanged, except when he was stationed to bed due to his physical illness.
My Pa and Ma died in 2001, but until today I still cherish all the memories I had with them – especially my Pa, because I am who I am right now is because of them…
Love you Pa, Ma.
Miss you guys more than ever!