Sometimes dads can surprise you with the things they say. Just when you think your pop is some old fart who doesn’t really understand this wacky post-modern world, he comes up with something that stops you in in your tracks.
I wonder if my dad knows there’s a photo of him looking shifty on Facebook.
This weekend is the anniversary of my grandmother’s passing so we went to the cemetery this morning in my dad’s hot new Mercedez-Benz 230C. It was a beautifully sunny day and the geese were out grazing around us. Despite the weather report, it was pretty warm under the sun.
We did our sacrificial rituals by burning lots of funny money and I decided to do some extra prayers this time around. I told my mother that I saw an article online that said that we were burning the money for the gods so that they will continue to be nice to our dead. I always assumed we were burning money and putting food for the deceased. As she threw another pile of money into the canister, she mumbled “who believes in that shit anyway?”
“So why are we even doing this then?” I laughed.
“Do you believe?” She suddenly stopped fanning the flames and looked up at me.
I smiled. “I don’t know. Sure… Maybe… I don’t do it out of guilt, I know that. Or any of fear of God.”
Then out of the blue, my dad who never speaks more than 3 words in a span of 2 hours chimes in (in Chinese of course): “I don’t know if we believe in all this superstition,” he says in a soft voice. He threw in another stack of Buddhist parchment and looks down at the burning candles. “But we do things as humans to fool ourselves. To get through the hard times in life. All of us have the power to choose happiness over uncertainty.”
Okay there, Confucius! Whoa, let’s just jack down the pathos a bit! It’s Saturday morning! Haha.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about his words a lot all day. And I think I love him a little more today if that’s possible. Especially when he can’t figure out how to work the fancy climate control system in the new ride, fumbling with it all the way back to my place.
As a dedication to my wise ol’ pater, here is a great little pile of his stylish stuff:
I definitely choose happiness.