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A GOLD MEDAL FOR MY FATHER

By:  F. Kong

In the Olympics, heroes are born. When I think of the track and field event in the Olympics, I cannot help but think of a great athlete named Carl Lewis from America.

We will not talk about his feats in the tracks; we’ll talk about something that happened in his life that is many times more important. This is his story.

“My father had given me so much, in so many ways, and  now I wanted to give something to him.  How about the 100- meter gold medal from 1984?  It is the one thing I could give  him to represent all the good things we did together, all  the positive things that had happened to me because of him.  I had never before taken any of my medals out of the  bank vault where I kept them.  But that day, on the way to  the airport, I stopped at the bank to get the medal, and I  put it in the pocket of my suit jacket.  I would take it to  New Jersey - for Dad.

The day of the funeral, when our family was viewing the  body, I pulled out the medal to place in my father's hand.  My mother asked me if I was sure I wanted to bury the medal,  and I was.  It would be my father's forever. "But I'm going  to get another one," I told my mother. Turning to my father,  I said, "Don't worry. I'm going to get another one."  That  was a promise - to myself and to Dad.  He was lying there so  peacefully, his hands resting on his chest.  When I placed  the medal in his hand, it fit perfectly. 
And win some more medals he did.

What a touching story.  I guess the only thing that bothered me here is why give a medal only when the person is already gone?  But you know what?  Business people like me, bothered with the non-stop non-ending task of improving the bottom line, establishing and meeting sales targets, researching on new designs never has enough time to call up my dad and tell him how thankful I am for having him as my father.

I can still remember the days when he would hold my hand and bring me to the movies.  He got me on a horse (more a pony I guess) when we were in Baguio and he was the one who would taught me how to drive.

“Work hard.  Be good.  Take care of your studies.”  Dad would always remind me.  We were poor and I could see how hard he struggled in providing for the family.  When I graduated from high school I wanted to work and help him but he would not approve.  He said that as long as he’s strong enough he would buy me education because that’s the only thing he could leave me with.   And he’s right. 

People say I have accomplished much today.  I guess in a way, you could say that these are all my medals.  But I guess I need to remind myself that the best time to express my gratitude is now.  Not to wait for the day when he could no longer hear nor see because all show of piety would have been useless then.

I love my dad. But I just have to get myself to say it. Strange isn’t it?  Why is it that it is so hard to say “I love you” to the people who matter to us the most? Is it pride? Maybe. Is it stubbornness?  Perhaps.  Is it unforgiveness, most probably.  But don’t wait to put your medals on your dad’s hand only when they are resting on his chest.  Call your dad now and tell him how much you appreciate him and then say it. Really say it.  Tell your dad the most important words he would like to hear, “I love you.”  And when you do, you’ve done your duty and have shown your love.

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