Western education 2013

Sunday, December 18, 2011

.... the first month

.... it has been a month since Dad has moved here to London.  Yesterday was an off day for him.... he was remembering things that happened when he was a very young boy.  His memories are flashing in an out of his mind these days.  The years peel away for seconds and then abruptly cover the secrets once again.  Like the waves on the shore erase the footprints that crossed moments before only to uncover fossils of a millennium in the next roll.

I am trying to piece together his fragmented past and have run into numerous roadblocks.  The response from an email I sent to his old boarding school came back with more questions than it answered.  They have never heard of Tim or his parents... the headmaster that my Dad lived with while attending boarding school.  OK, I will just keep trying.  He has memories of his father tucking him under his arm and running with him.  He thinks it was when the Hong Kong war broke out when he was a child.  His father was taken into a concentration camp by the Japanese when they invaded Hong Kong at Christmas 1941.  Dad, his sister and mother fled to Australia leaving George Stopani-Thomson behind to live his final days out as a prisoner of war.  He would be killed on January 16th 1946 after the Americans bombed the concentration camp.  They claim that there were battlements in the camp.  My grandfather was 41 years old and is buried in a common grave whom he shares with a number of other 'residents' who were killed with him.

My father is haunted by images of what he perceived to have happened in his youth.  He thinks his mother may have sold favors to gentlemen to put him through school overseas.  Children's perceptions and adult understandings can leave many gaps in what really happened and what was imagined.  I can often see his arrogance peep into conversations.  He thinks he has an I.Q of 5,000..... I think he was always passed over for recognition of things he accomplished because he was not often seen as popular.  Those who were, were often given the credit he should have had.  This created a lot of bitterness and unsatisfied outcomes in his life.  He spent a youth filled with being an outcast.  He was mischievous and had a great sense of humor and fun.  What he lacked was the ability to see that trying harder rarely panned out in a positive way and he would only end up more frustrated than ever.  He never understood that being popular and well-received was the unfairness that so many of us find so frustrating.   He chose to not play in the main stream 'politics' and instead felt he was above all of that.  He felt he could see things that others could not and associated that with a higher intelligence.  He didn't realize that there are those that would try to fit in at all costs and it didn't take intelligence to see that those who were popular were treated with reverence.  He knew that life was not fair and couldn't grasp how it just couldn't be by challenging the establishment in many facets from our taxation system to other such unfair practices.  It made him angry that people were getting away with things and he was held to answer for any little infraction.  From one career to another, he could never seem to get the accolades he felt he so richly deserved.  Perhaps, I have said to him, that like myself, you are just a catalyst - a maker of ideas that someone else is supposed to carry out?  Who knows?

Life is good for me.  I am learning as an adult too that life is rarely balanced or fair.  This year, I am making promises to myself that will bring joy and satisfaction on a level that I can live with.  I have already begun the housekeeping portion of removing myself from activities that cause me emotional angst.  The recent admission of a woman that she encouraged someone to tell me off at a summer event and apologized to me months later that it was her fault.  A woman who told me that she wanted to hang in other circles prior to getting into an argument with me and then playing the wounded victim while being incorporated into the inner circle she wanted to be included in.  The woman who spent months picking on me and being disrespectful to my family members, plays the wounded victim when I finally call her on her behavior.  I pack up my emotions, wear a thicker skin, and keep going.  I have some truly remarkable friends who have stuck by me through thick and thin and who have supported and believed in me.  They have given me a gift this year that I will always treasure and I will always honor what we have.   The New Year has many great surprises in store.  Today Mitch and I are taking my Dad out for coffee.


Melissa said...

Hey! I gave you an award on my blog! :)
I've been meaning to tell you..

Marita said...

i did not know that?! I will have to find it!! Sendin you lots of love and hugs!!