Thursday, July 2, 2009

MY way of life.

when i was about 5 or 6 my dad tried to teach me how to ride a bike. we'd go in the back alley behind our house and he'd hold the back seat while i rode around. it felt good, the security of knowing i couldn't tip over and couldn't fall down. i was having fun until my dad said "you have to do it alone.." i was like " BUT HOW!?!!!!!!!!!" and he let go. as soon as he let go that security was gone and quickly i began to panic. i rode faster and faster, then down a hill, then in to a ditch... i remember feeling really angry with my dad, that and a bit of pain, i was so used to my mom babying me, so unused to this toughen up mentality. little did i know the life lesson my father was about to instill upon me.

i was laying there in the ditch with some cuts and scrapes crying my ass off and my dad just walked over and said "get out of there..." get out of there? what the hell isn't this the part where he climbs down in here and carries me all the way home? nope, he just stood there and waited for me to climb out. then he said " you ready to try again?" i was thinking is this guy crazy or something.. did he not just see that?... i said "i don't want to ride again it's too scary, you're just going to let go again.." then i'll never forget the look on my dads face. utter disappointment filled every crease of his face, and he said " you can't quit so easy.. life not so easy.. can never give up!"..." when you give up you die.." but i was too stupid and too young to understand the lesson he was trying to teach me. i just felt insecure and and scared.. so i said " NO! i'm not riding again! " my dad had the same disappointed look on his face, he paused, then got down into the ditch grabbed the bike and carried it home. leaving me standing there alone.

i was too young then to understand what he was trying to tell me. it wasn't until 12 years later we completed the lesson. oh i knew how to ride a bike by then. the look of disappointment alone was enough to get me to run back home take out my bike and practise practise practise until i learned on my own. anyways 12 years later my dad and i were working together. i usually help out with the family business of landscaping. for about every summer since i was 11 i'd help my dad at work cutting grass, pulling weeds, raking, carrying bricks and digging stuff ( thats probably why i got so huge hahaha) in those 5 years i got to know my dad really well, better then either of my sisters. My dad is a strange guy, sort of old school, sort of awkwardly japanese, sort of gentle but tough and persistent, one of those 'hard work is work worth working hard for..' kind of dudes. so one day he drops a bomb on me "ryan we have to sell the house and move.." at the time i was a total wimp and i literally cried. i was so scared of change. my dad explained it like this the mortgage to the house and the debt we owe is too much and he'd probably die long before we were ever in the free and clear. my dad now entering his 60s needs to retire sometime soon his back, knees and wrists cause incredible discomfort. even though he suffers that much he still wakes up every morning to do a job he hates..
anyways, when my dad said that we had to move i was so upset i quickly shot back saying " YOU TAUGHT ME NEVER TO GIVE UP! because when you give up you die!!" i started crying again..( i know right a 17 year old guy crying IN FRONT OF HIS DAD no less. haha) then my dad did something i've never seen him do in my entire 17 years of life... he began to cry too... my dad started out..

" when i move to this country i was young. . .
i told my parents i might never see you again.
i move here knowing i can't go back!"

..tears dripping down his face..

" my mom! my dad! they KNEW! maybe i won't see them again... so after my father die i couldn't go see him. NOT EVEN MY OWN FATHER! i couldn't see him.. even though i missed them i had to stay here because we need money because you miyuki and hanae. i have to make money for us! so even my own father die... i can't go see him. but i was young like you! i moved here for better life! look at me! is this better life?! soon i die too! then what!.... . . look... my mom my dad they both dead now.. i never see them since i left over 20 years ago.. ryan.. pretty soon i die too.. i want to enjoy my life. i know 'never give up' i know this, but i am 63 years old i made many mistakes.. BUT i never quit.. i never give up.."



now the lesson i learned when i was 5 made so much sense. my father sacrificed a lot for this family, for me. i never knew the level of devotion he had for our family til that day. i never stopped to think when he was a young man he said good bye to his parents knowing he wouldn't see them again until they were buried in the earth. my father taught me never to give up never surrender "this is bushido" he said "we come from samurai family. so you can not quit." so although on the surface i look like your average white washed hipster "vancouver guy" asian i'm actually underneath a proud japanese man. never to give up.. never to surrender. this is MY way of life it should be yours too.

4 comments:

vuudoo said...

man, this puts my heart in a vice grip and water to my eyes.

the amount our folks do for us... unbelievable

MICAHMAE said...

God is love, Rychu.
Thanks for writing.

terepod said...

awesome post.
because of your dad, your super cool.

MICAHMAE said...

that's why it's HIStory and HERstory...