Credits: Google Image
Graduation day was not particularly memorable for me but the day before that was. While other people were probably busy planning what to wear for d-day, my parents and I were on the way to my late grandma’s house, which is a 20 minute drive to the graduation venue.
I have always loved road trips but this one was different. This is the kind of road trip where I cried silently at the backseat, thinking about sacrifice and love. It was a slow and relaxing drive. My dad was driving my brother in law’s second generation Proton Saga and the car is not really suitable for a long journey, so he could only drove 70 km/h.
We talked about life most of the time, and food occasionally. Dad talked about his business, his friends, his business partners, his late father, his life in army and his future plans. With Dad, it is always about opening your own business. He worked in government for a few years, 15 years as a contractor but eventually he came back as a farmer. He loves to plant and he sells only the best fruit to his customers. When he is not farming, he cooks. Dad has cooked for a thousand people and he has been cooking for me since I was 5. When he is not farming and cooking, he manages a friend’s fish farm in the middle of the sea. I, on the other hand listened and occasionally asked questions. I took his advices, his experiences, his pain and his happiness and started crafting my future.
But everything he does, he does it for his family. For a traditionalist like Dad, when you get married and have children, carrying responsibilities over your own blood gives you a distinct purpose in life. My parents’ love knows no bound, it is moving, happy, sad, heartbreaking and complicated. Love, these past few days, is when your dad calls a few of his friends for extra money to send his daughter to graduate. Love is when you ask your mom not to buy any graduation bouquets because they are costly. Love is when your dad keeps looking at your certificate with shining eyes.
And that is only the beginning of more love and pain.
After you kids came along, your mom, she said something to me I never quite understood. She said, "Now, we're just here to be memories for our kids." I think now I understand what she meant. Once you're a parent, you're the ghost of your children's future.
Joseph Cooper, Interstellar (2014)