Farewell To My Pops
I don’t often write posts that are not travel related but the last few weeks I have been mulling over including a more personal side of my life on this site. Writing is cathartic for me. I know this is not what you are expecting to find if you have randomly stumbled upon my travel blog but I feel like that by sharing my personal journey through life, it may help someone else going through a rough time. Sadly while I was traveling the other day, my dear Pops (father) passed away. While I am still very stunned and quite devastated, I know in my heart that he is in a better place. He is with his beloved wife, my mom, somewhere in the next life. Since her passing over four years ago, he has not been the same. He has been living every day engulfed in his grief and sadness without her and it gives me great comfort knowing that he has been released from that agony. Farewell Pops, I love you.
Earlier this year, I made a decision to be based in Vancouver for the summer while I was not traveling. Having an open schedule to spend time with my Pops was one of the big reasons I chose to work freelance. I wanted to be able to see him and my family as much as I could without having to deal with “holiday time and days off”. I couldn’t be happier with the choices that I made.
When I left Canada at the end of August, something felt different this time. The goodbye with my father felt much different than any other one that we had before. I would usually say, “See you in a few months Pops. I love you. Don’t forget to text me every day!” But no tears were usually shed and we did not get emotional. This time, he touched my head and said, “I don’t think I’ll be here much longer. I love you very much.”
He was not sick at that point nor had any diagnosis; he just said that he felt he was near the end. He would often say things like that because he just longed to be with my mother but this time felt different when he said it. I had never cried when parting from my father in the past but this time, I left wailing. I sat in my car in the parking lot of his senior’s home crying and stayed there till I gained some composure to drive.
After I left Vancouver in August I was supposed to be on my way to California but something inside of me said to stay close. So I did. I have spent the last few weeks in Portland with some of my close friends. I’m happy that I made this decision because I can be home in Vancouver in a few hours. While I was not able to see my father before he passed, I know that he would have wanted it this way. He was your typical Asian father who was low-key. He didn’t want any fuss or fanfare and would often sneak away before saying goodbye.
My father and I had some tough times when I was growing up. You could say I was a typical rebellious teenager. As I got older we finally moved into a place of understanding although he always managed to make me feel like I was twelve around him. I would often say, “Pops!! I’ve traveled around the world on my own and I have been living in California for the last 9 years!” But to him and to me, I will always be his little girl and I can’t fault him for that.
I thought he was really strict when I was younger. I was often angry with him because of that. I know now that he acted that way because he loved me and was trying to protect me. He came from a different generation and culture and ended up raising this independent Canadian girl. I was not grateful then but I am ever so grateful for everything he did. I hope he knows this. I will miss him with every part of my being and it is quite heartbreaking that I’ll never see him again.
Dear Pops…I am who I am because of you…thank you. Farewell and I will see you in the next life!
Thanks for reading! If you would like to read more about my father, I wrote a post about him here last year.