Happy Father’s Day to my dad in Suzhou, China.
My dad is an unique individual. What I love most about him is he is the best handyman I know.
My grandfather passed away when my father was still an infant, leaving behind 6 kids and a wife. When my father was still a teenage, he left his home town in northern Jiangsu Province for Shanghai to make a living for himself. He started by making hand towels, later worked in a textile factory.
My dad didn’t have any education opportunity. He didn’t go to school. He didn’t read and didn’t like to read, though he could read newspapers.
Even though my dad is not an educated man, he is very smart and talented, especially with his hands. He learned to do a lot of things. He made all the furniture in our home. He could do plumbing and electrical work. He was the Mr. Fix-it at home and in the neighborhood. He could fix almost anything. He could make keys, repair bicycles, shoes, pots, you name it. We never had to ask anyone else for help around the house. If there was a problem, he could always find a way to fix it.
Now my dad is 80 years old, still pretty healthy. He attributes his health to the exercises he did when he was younger. He used to walk to work every day. He ran and played basketballs. His biggest health problem is his joint pain. He used to shower himself with cold well water for cooling down whenever it was very hot. He thought the joint pain was the result of that.
My mom used to do all the domestic work – grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, etc. A few years ago, my dad took over the domestic work because my mom’s health deteriorated.
My dad actually learned to cook when my parents were here in the US helping me take care of the kids. Once he learned to cook, he didn’t like my mom’s cooking. My mom was happy to not have to cook any more and let him be the chef. I have to say he is a better chef than my mom.
My dad has an amazingly good memory for phone numbers. While I only remember a handful of phone numbers, he seems to remember every relative’s phone number and we have a lot of them. I am amazed by his talents.
My father is a man with few words. He is quiet and doesn’t say much. He is content and considerate. He doesn’t show affection and never tells me he loves me. But he shows his love with his acts of service.
When we moved to the current house 11 years ago, my parents stayed with us for one month before they had to leave. My dad helped me make a vegetable garden, put up some shelves in the garage and basement, without many tools to work with.
Hi Dad, I love you and miss you. Happy Father’s Day from Woodbury to Suzhou! Wish you good health and happiness!