Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, May 27, 2009

A Wonderful Father and the Son Relationship

Filed under: Father,Reading — admin @ 12:52 am

I have been lately reading a book, One in Three: a son’s journey into the science and history of cancer by Adam Wishart, 2007. The author is a London-based documentary filmmaker. The title of the book implies cancer is the disease that touches the lives of one person in three. Not pleasant to know. Forget this.

The author interweaves memories of his father and the story of his father’s cancer treatment with the western medical history of this disease. To be sure, the book is very informative on the one hand, making us appreciate the advances in science and technology in medicine. On the other hand, to me, the book is more like a celebration of a wonderful relationship between a father and his son. I am touched by the growing up experience of the author and his father, a very loving, caring and positive one!

The author recalled his childhood moments with his dad, his dad’s unremitting quest to educate him; the story of Dr. John Snow’s discovery, the first piece of work on epidemiology, the story of cholear epidemic of 1854, how the father and the teenage son went to movie together, so many such intimate moments of father and son … The readers can see the definit imprint of his father’s caring work in him.

The author fondly recalled, Dad “was always telling me stories about scientists, mathematicians, and revolutionaries … From my adolescence it was our habit to stay up late and, with Mum in bed, to sit talking about these things in the kitchen table. For two men who never spoke about their feelings, our intimacy consisted in sharing our interests in politics, history, or the progress of science. If I knew history, he thought, then I might be better able to navigate through my life, because he always used the past as a way to understand his place in the world.” p. 2

“When I was a child and Dad was in his early forties, he regularly carried me up the Lakeland fells so that I might see the English landscape laid out below.” p. 215 The book abounds with anecdotes like this.

Such a beautiful picture of father and son! Such a wonderful father! There are so many things that a father and his son can do together and so many chances for them to form a loving and meaningful relationship, yet some choose doing nothing at all or abandon these chances to live a richer life. How I wish most of the dad were like the dad of this author! Dreaming again, I know. Guess what? I just discover dreaming is the most harmless activity that one can engage, only on the verge of being useless.

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