The day I left Hong Kong, my father came to the airport to see me off. By the gate, he urged me to come home more often for he is an old man, he may only have a few years to live. I ignored his comments, quickly turned to the departure gate and left him there watching me disappearing in the crowd.
Memories of my childhood, I often considered my father as a tyrant, an abusive husband and parent, a man with violent temper, harsh words and unhappy soul. I was always afraid of him. When he was in rage, I suffered psychologically. For many years, I resented my father. My brothers and sisters hated him as well. When I was old enough to leave home, I was elated that I did not have to face him again. For more than nine years, I was like a kite, flew as high and as far away from home as possible. The only string that still tied me back to the family was my elder sister. She finally pulled the cord and guided this lost “kite” to return home. When I saw my father again, he was already an old man with completely gray hair. He had lost many of his vitality. His aging appearance brought me tremendous guilt and shame. After all, he is my father.
It is this undeniable fact that makes me forgive my father. Yet, I cannot love him, still find it hard to look him in the eyes and carry a decent conversation. We remain cordial as strangers. Only during these past few years watching him aging more, I begin to pity him. I sense his loneliness, his sorrow and remorse. He never said he was sorry, but I know he wants to reconnect with us, spend as much time as possible with his children and grandchildren.
Inside the aircraft, I am alone again. My father’s words resonate. I am a kite, forever a kite which loves to fly freely in the open air. That is the life I choose. But this kite still has a string attached to where it originally took off; it will return to its roots when the time is right.
I hope my father will live to a 100 year or more, so we have time to catch up.