Dad has been my marker for many aspects of my life. The age he got married. The age difference with his bride. When he had his first child. They all were guidelines as how my life should play out.
A quiet man whose world is filled primarily by books, he managed to influence both his sons and at least half of his grandchildren to be readers. The artist in him has at least produced a "creative nut" in each of the following generations.
But there a two images of dad that are firmly etched in my mind:
The first is that of him at the door of our old flat in Kampong Java, he had just return from Ceylon / Sri Lanka. with him at the threshold of the door was this large basket looking like it came from the cave of the 40 thieves. I was almost expecting a genie to come out of it. What excited me most was dad coming back from the trip.
The other time was dad coming into my room, drawing the curtains and saying that he was glad I didn't go for the interview that day because the job didn't suit me. That day I was to go for the 2nd interview for the sales position in a company that sells encyclopaedias. It was a great feeling that dad affirmed my decision as being the right one.
I have always said that dad raised us (my bro and I) using a long leash. Allowing us freedom and room to roam but pulling us in when we tried to go too far off.
It's a pity that I have two girls to raise. There's not a lot of "take-aways" I can use from my experience with dad. What I have is just bringing them to the library, book store and music shop. And of course there's Asterix. Now that's another dad story ....