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

1, Jul 11, 2009

To the memory of my father, the flower and all

Filed under: Father — admin @ 8:50 pm

22 years ago, July 11, 1987, my father, consumed by cancer, left us forever. Otherwise, he would be 80 years old this year. I was then in America, a second year Ph.D candidate. This morning I called my son and talked to him about his grandfather.

My father had an exciting and interesting life, born and raised in a mountainous area in Shanxi, a country boy who left his home village as a teenager to join the army, then became a member of Chinese communist party, had been to Korean War, graduated from a college in Beijing, had been in the inner circle of Ministry of Culture, ending his political career as a high-ranking army officer.

My father seldom talked to us about his past experience, but occasionally we heard some stories about my father from his comrades and my mother. We learned that he always emerged a key player wherever he went. During the Cultural Revolution, once two large contentious groups in Tianjin were on the brink of violent clash, with their swords already out of sheath, my father talked both sides out of their arms and retreated to their home, thus preventing the bloodshed of a large scale.

I once urged my father to write down his stories, my father, being an astute yet deposited politician, said, “Whatever I write, no one will publish it.” “I can find some publishers in Hongkong,” said I. “Not possible.” My father liked reading biography or autobiography of politicians. He once indicated that someday he would write his own memoir. In the end he left unprepared, leaving nothing written, nothing except memories in the living.

At that time I didn’t understand why he did not let me get it outside China, especially his experience during the Cultural Revolution. Now when I think back, I understand how much freedom of speech he had for someone in his position. He belonged to the Party, regardless how he was treated. Nowadays, you don’t often see such dedicated and self-disciplined party member.

The world has changed tremendously since his times. I wish he were still here.

P.S. My father was very proud of my writing, showing them to his comrades whenever someone came over, modest as he was elsewhere. Writing is the time when I think of him, eager to make him a proud dad. 7/12/09

1 Comment »

  1. You are missing our father, so am I, especially when I am in bad mood. Take care of ourselves.

    Comment by peiwen xia — 1, Jul 12, 2009 @ 6:32 pm

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