My father passed away back when I was 13. Most people won't ask me about my father once they knew that but I love gushing over him. He remains a hero to me.
I look up to him in all aspects of his life. I admire his achievements, his humility, his silence and even his hobbies. I bought a guitar with my first pay just because my fondest memories of us together were our nightly sessions of playing oldies on his guitar. I took up architectural studies just because he used to have this hobby of designing dream houses.
To me, he was a perfect man. And he stayed perfect because I didn't get the chance to grow up and feel jaded about him. He passed away while I was still a girl worshipping her father. I didn't get the chance to use my critical eye on him.
Thinking back, he didn't really open up about his past to me. That's probably because I was still a child. After he passed away, my mum slowly opened up and tell us stories but she took care to always make sure they were stories that let him remain on this pedestal that I've created for him. Perhaps my mum realised earlier on that my father became the muse in most of my achievements. I fought very hard to become the daughter I imagine my father wants me to become.
Nearing 30, I realise that my father has his flaws. He went through some wild years when he was a student. He was a man with very few friends. When we go back to his hometown, my mum was the more amiable one.
Perhaps, my mum really became both mother and father after he passed away. She kept him bright in our minds, a beacon that drove us towards our dreams and aspirations. This simple housewife, who lost her husband while all 5 of her children were still studying, knew that looking up to a father who was perfect, successful superlative, is the best way to spur us on.
I love my father for all the inspiration he has left me.
I love my mother for all the aspirations she lets me have.