Today, as we had brunch in honor of our dad on Father's Day, an interesting memory came up as a topic of conversation amongst the table. The topic was regarding when the last time our mom went back to Hong Kong. Our mom said it was just about a year ago, around July 4th. Danny and I were surprised, but later realized it to be accurate. She had gone alone to pay respects to her mother (our grandmother) who passed away and to complete her application for a Hong Kong residents identification card.
As that discussion came to a close, I quickly remembered having to pick my mom up from the airport when she landed back in Chicago. The reason I remember it wasn't simply because of the purpose of my mom's trip, but because of what my dad had done. It was agreed amongst the family that I would pick up my mom. However, on the day of her arrival, we found out that our dad had taken the train to meet up and pick up our mom as well. This led to some frustration because we already agreed on plans, I already arrived at the airport, and we now had to wait to find our father.
During all this frustration, it was easy to miss the heartfelt gesture our dad was trying to get across to our mom and all of us. He loved her and he wanted to be there when she arrived to make sure she was safe. And ultimately, though he didn't show our mom this kind of emotion openly, he wanted to see her because it made him happy.
There was actually one other time this happened as well. It involved my mom, Danny, and myself landing in the airport and as we walked towards the Blue Line platform, Danny asked, "is that dad??"and it was. I don't remember the full details, but it's a very fond memory to reinforce how much our dad really cared about his family.
Happy Father's Day, Baba...