Much Farther To Go

Sometimes, I see recent photos of his, and I get envious. Where were all these moments with me and with my mum? Where was that softness, that willingness to slow down, enjoy life, food, unhurried conversation, discovery of new interests, and that pride in showing the world, through words, photos, and pictures, “This is my wife. This is my child”? Even decades later, there is that ugly thought and doubt at the back of my mind: we were unsuitable for his loftier goals, and she – daughter of an old Hakka merchant family, but still with several advanced degrees – was not polished enough to project the right image, and I was not a son. Why were we, as a family, left behind?

Excerpt from “Much Farther To Go”

I have much farther to go
Everything is new and so unpredictable
I should just kick my heels together and go home
But I’m not sure where that is anymore

Oh, how I wish I could go back in time
To the night when I heard my mother cry
She held me in her arms and we talked for some time
And I sang a song her mother sang to her and it goes

Something about paper dolls and what men prefer
Something about the cross and how her Jesus died for her
Something about love and how it’s worth fighting for
I wonder does love like that exist anymore?

Daddy and me at Christmas

But then I see pictures like these and remember that, once upon a time, we were good enough. She happily dressed me in this beautiful red velvet coat, hat, and boots, with delicate little faux fur-trimmed gloves to match. At some vague point in time he was my best friend – matinées at Edwards Cinema, evening walks to the local Baskin Robbins, willing to spend 5-10 minutes to go through my whole strange waving ritual just to say goodbye as he dropped me off at Piccadilly Preschool. Continue reading