A single father

There was one girl post SPM from my dad's school working part time in the clinic I'm currently working.
She was so excited to find out that I am Tuan Haji Yusof's daughter, her principle.
She started launching on how my dad did that and this in school and how the students found him really funny despite him being so serious.They were scared of him but at the same time found his nagging in Kedahan slang very hilarious.
From the way she was telling the stories, I know she appreciates her principle.
I felt warm inside.
'Doc, kitaorg selalu pk mcm manalah anak pengetua. Kesian dia mesti asyik kena study saja kan.Pengetua garang'.
Do you know, your pengetua never ever scold me in my entire life?
Far from being a serious dad, he is the warmest and loving dad in the world.
Well he is not a sensitive dad though.
Since young, he tried to use reason with me.
Example, we went to Pasaraya Peladang and it was in the middle of the month which means he didn't have that much money, I was 6 years old at that time..
So I saw a set of colorpencils Luna and I held them in my arms, took it to the cashier where he was and asked,'Can we buy this?'

He bent down and whispered,'Allah adik, ayah tak cukup duit'.
I looked up and searched his face.
He meant it I know because he never denied me anything if he could.
So I said,'It's okay ayah. Next time we'll buy okay. I don't really need them right now'.
I walked back to the Luna sets area and return the color pencils.

You see he told the truth.

When I was in standard 2, the neighbour kids had a big bike which I rode every day.
I never told my father or asked him for one.
To me the bicycle must be really expensive and I didn't want to burden him.
One day, my father saw me riding on her bike and the next day he came home with a new bike for me.
And I didn't even ask for it.
It was the best surprise ever.

What makes him special?
He is not rich nor is he an important man.
However, he is important to me..
He has been a father and a mother to me for years.
These days, as a mother and at  times the only parent handling Isabella (when hubby is away or almost never at home), I kept on thinking, how did my father handled me alone after the passing of my mother.
It must be hard for him.
Especially since I was so little and he was a man.
Yesterday, I went to 'buka' with him at my parents house.
I asked him ' Ayah, it must be hard taking care of me alone all those years. Now that I am taking care of Isabella, I wonder how it was for you'.
For the first time he replied,'it was difficult. You were 3 years old and I couldn't afford a maid for you'. 
The salary of a teacher back then was so little.
It is not like these days.

'Is that why you always took me to the extra clasess you were teaching at night?'

Father: I took you everywhere. To surau for prayer because I couldn't leave you alone at home. We went for late night supper at the stadium. I took you to the night warden meetings, to the hostel whenever I chased the brothers to their study hall or wake them up for Subuh prayers. I dragged you almost everywhero until you were brave enough to stay at home alone'.

Me:Now, I am dragging Isabella to anywhere I go. It is like a cycle. But ayah, when I saw how hard it was for you to provide for us and to take care of me, it gave me the determination to excel even at an early age.

It is a circle of life.
Being a parent makes me think about my parents more.


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