The Trials, Victories & Adventures of Los PaulOS

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. ~ 1 John 4:18

Monday, March 05, 2007

My Dad

Seems like a proper time to write about my dad it's after all his birthday tomorrow... and hopefully not reveal too much incriminating evidence about him.. heh heh

My dad, or as I call him "Pop", in one word, is INCREDIBLE!

Where do I begin describing him.. There have been a few phases in his life, that I know of and that I've heard of, shall I speak of him factually or abstractly? With innuendos or just plain facts?

Ok in short, he did not have an easy upbringing, #7 of 10 children, raised by a single mother, who later remarried to a man whom I don't know much about his influence in my dad's life.

Born just post WW2, and he was raised a Catholic in an English medium school, wanted to become a priest in his early ages, alongside with 3 Elder sisters (The Matriachs) and 5 other Brothers and 1 younger sister. Safe to say there was not much food to go around, and finances were stretched thin.. Yet, all of them today are reasonably successful. I am amazed how the family pulled it off. It required a great sacrifice..

My dad, relates to me a time when after his Form 5 exams, he was very elated that he had passed it, and the first question out of my grandmother's mouth was "So, when are you going to work?" My dad's dreams and hopes of becoming a doctor were dashed. So my gramma sent him to a small town (my now hometown), to be with his elder sis who was a teacher there. My dad became a trainee teacher, and so he stuck to it for the rest of his life.

My dad, probably lost fervour as a child of Christ in his earlier years, maybe because of lack of knowledge and guidance. He had a few of the vices common to men, i.e. smoking, drinking and cursing. But he was never ever ever unfaithful to my mom. He never beat my mom, but they both did have hot tempers. Yet I never remembered them arguing. Drinks can do funny things to men (and women alike). They become irrational and emotional. So much so we were afraid of my dad when he got home high on spirits. My brother and I hid away from him and pretended to be asleep. He still performed his duties as a father, in disciplining us teaching us. I remember both mom and dad faithfully caning me with the rotan (cane), hose and belt if we weren't good at our studies. Less caning and beltings as we grew older. I don't ever remember my brother getting caned though, which is peculiar.. as I have been told my bro got the crappier end of the cane & belt.

I guess, that was the only way mom and dad knew how to discipline.

He stopped smoking upon our insistence as children, when I was about 10 years old I believe.

I grew rebellious doing my own thing, but never smoking, drugs or cutting school.. I did have my own vices such as stealing and lying. Yeah, I was no angel. I studied moderately hard and cruised my way through Primary & Secondary. Mom & Dad just provided a place for me to grow up, not really having meaningful conversations, just some fun times. My brother had left home when I was 14.

So my dad, started turning to the Lord, reading the Bible every morning, but never spoke or taught me the Word in my growing years. He was very sceptical of the workings of charismatics, He tried to send me to a Youth camp to scare me off the charismatics, but that worked against him and drew me closer to the things of God. It was all experiential, but nothing deep really happened. It was all emotional, but never really dealt with my feelings of insecurities or low self esteem. My dad continued to seek the Lord and as I did on my own too.

After my Form 5, my dad asked me, do you want to do Medicine, I was reluctant and asked him.. "If I go for 1 year and I don't like it, can I come back?"... with that.. He dropped the idea.. He knew his 2nd son had no interest in medicine. Till today it seems to be like a standing joke, but at the same time there is a hint of sadness/disappointment in it.. I suspect.

Off I went to college, it seemed like, from that age on, I had been making one bad decision after another. As I reflect on my dad, I now see many things I wished I had done better.. but who's to say that this is what my DAD in heaven wants me to learn
1. I wish I had made a better College choice
2. I wish I had chosen to work harder at school and college
3. I wish I had made the best out of my tertiary education
4. I wish I had not stayed on in a relationship that had long ended.
5. I wish I had not made arrogant financial decisions

I must say.. I have many disappointments in life, but would it have led me to the community I am in now, I don't know.. and I know I can't and shouldn't live in regret.

My dad and mom, sacrificed a lot to pull me out of trouble and put me through college and uni.
At this stage, my dad and I are having a very good relationship and I can attribute it to the work of the Lord and we can have theological and spiritual discussions.

Still there is an underlying current of regret in my life... *sigh.... * I know my dad in heaven doesn't want me to live a life of regret, neither does my dad on earth. I love both my dads very much, and I really wanna obey and honour them.
And I do want to live to the purpose of my life and fulfill it.

At this juncture of my life, monetary-wise, I don't seem to live a life of an overseas graduate. I wish to brush that stigma or expectation aside but it is hard..
I wish, I could give my dad and mom the life they should have. A comfortable and meaningful life. We have come to a stage where we know, our time with them is limited, and I do want to make the most of it,

I can choose 1 of 2 things; work hard to earn much to give them things, or work in a lesser capacity so that I can spend time with them more and more.
Already in my heart, I have a desire to move back to be with them, but what place do I have in a small town society. What skills do I bring back to offer that society?

My dad and mom seem contented with life right now, and I want them to have great peace in God. I also want them to be proud of me. I wonder if they are?

My dad, the incredible, because he has been created in the image of the Almighty.
He has been the pillar of the lives of many including mine... and the legacy he is passing on to me.. seems big.. and overwhelming.. I want to make him proud... and I wish he could see it now...

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4 Comments:

  • At March 05, 2007 3:25 PM, Anonymous coolcat said…

    *sniffles* What a touching post! I'm sure he's proud of you, bro. His warmth and kindness is prevalent in you.

     
  • At March 06, 2007 11:23 AM, Blogger angie said…

    Paulos...I share the same sentiments in terms of providing for the folks. Its even worse for me as I am the "golden child".At times, I do look back and regret at my decisions (although I know I shouldnt la). What I know for sure bro is that, our parents are happy with us for who we are know.Sure we wanna give them the best in life. But what makes you think that you havent? Your best gift to them is the fact that you are there for them and you love them. THere are many who dont even have that priviledge. The Lord leads you into your purpose in life and He also protects your loved ones.
    Just continue loving them and be there for them just as the FATHER continues to love you and is THERE for you

     
  • At March 06, 2007 11:22 PM, Blogger PaulOS said…

    Thanks mates... It's human nature to want more.. but God's nature is to give more.. and I want more so that I can give more. what does that make me? hahaha..

    I pray for the tides to continue to turn and blessings to come and that I might give. In the meantime, I will wait with open arms to receive.

    May the same be for you.. Lord Bless

     
  • At March 13, 2007 10:01 AM, Anonymous psebast1 said…

    Nice write up , bro. Cool .. Like the way you put it all up.

    Anyway, no regrets , please, on the things and decisions that have been made. Those were part of life based on situation and information available at the time. Something for us learn from. And also something the LORD wanted us to learn from too.

    Maybe you should show POPs this blog.

    Anyway, if you want to contend on who got more of the cane and belt. Don't ask me, i knew i was going to get it, then i don't remember what happened after that (Heh..) . Besides, there was something like about 4-6 years that you were not around or too small to remember. Heh .. heh ..

     

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