I wanted to share this as it’s own entry instead of as a response to yesterday’s blogpost. I have to give you just a little background for you to understand how big of a deal it is for him to have responded to what I had written. English is not my father’s first language, he immigrated to the United States when he was a young man. He served twenty years in the US Navy, he is not a stoic man, but is fairly reserved in most things. He has expressed mixed feelings about the candid nature of my writing in the past, but is mostly supportive. Here is his response to me via email:
This was a pretty good post. You have a pretty acute sense of observations. However you forgot to mention a few elements of potential dangers on the rock jetty: the rush of rising and falling tide and waves, which happens every six hours and changes 45 minutes every day; the waves created by passing boaters speeding by; the commercial vessels; the changing wind directions; unexpected tsunami-like wavs caused by unknown earthquakes in Africa or Europe; sudden changes in weather.
You are right that I have overcome all of those elements of danger, but each time I have stepped on those rocks, I have never been alone. The first time I went there, I was with your Mom. When I stepped on that first slippery rock, my knee would buckle and my body refused to go any further. I was so scared that I would fall in that water and nobody would see me until after 3 to 4 days later due to the harsh conditions and the history of boater mishaps in that area.
The first time I had the courage to cross that second rock was when Tatang (my adopted grandfather) and Mr. Wing went with me. Mr. Wing managed to cross four or five rocks and refused to go further after he slipped and broke his pole and slammed his back against the rock. Since then, Mr. Wing never steps on those rocks.
However, something whispered to me and said you can do it. Go ahead.
When you were 8 years old, I was with you.
When your skull was broken by that garden hoe at ten, I walked you to the clinic.
When you crossed the world at 20, I guided you.
Again at 30, you and your young family were stranded in snow in Philadelphia, I protected you.
When you lost your grandchildren at 40, I returned them to you.
Now you know.
…how I hope that your faith in God is as strong as your faith in me.