There is a famous saying in Taiwan that reads “A daughter is her father’s lover from his past life.” It describes the special bonds between a father and daughter in such a sweet way. It took me years to understand the true meaning behind it, even after I left home to live in the United States.
My father, a retired military officer, has high standards when it comes to discipline and education. Growing up I was always scared of him a little because he expected me not only to be well-behaved, but also to be a positive role model to my younger brother and sister. I was to blame if I didn’t meet his expectation. He was very strict about building up our moral characters and how to be a good person and citizen in our society. But, he never got upset if I didn’t do well in school, instead, he encouraged me to try again next time and that the most important thing is to not give up.
I love my father, but because of this pattern I was too shy to express the appreciation and love I have for him. And we had so many fights during my rebellious adolescence age (who doesn’t?).
Everything changed in 2002 when we almost lost him due to a severe liver illness. Fortunately my mother was able to donate 75% of her liver for a transplant and now they are truly part of one another.. That experience really changed how our entire family communicates: we are no longer feel embarrassed or awkward to express ourselves. The thought of losing my father is unbearable. We learned that life is too short to not let people know how much you care about them. I live 8,000 miles away from my family now and I try to visit yearly every time I go home for a visit the airport goodbyes just get harder and harder. My dad is typically the first or second one to burst into tears. Although, normally we take turns and then laugh at each other.
My dad and I are so much alike, from our look to our personality. As an adult I really appreciate his strict parenting style because I learned his values and have applied them to my life personally and professionally. I wouldn’t be who I am today without his nuturing. I still seek his guidance when I’m facing any difficulties in my life because I know he will give me the best suggestions. He is my dad , my friend,and my life coach.
I love you dad! Even though we celebrate Father’s Day in August 8 in Taiwan, since I’m in the United States, I guess I get to celebrate twice with you! : P
Please scroll down to see the jewelry I’ve made for my father in the past. From left to right: Chameleon inspired cufflinks, oxidized sterling silver ring, and an enameled tie pin.