A Message to Dad

What would you tell your dad this Father's Day? Read Denise's heart-warming letter to her dad. Warning: Prepare tissues. 


I love him.

My father is a hardworking man. I rarely saw him until dinner on weekdays. But he made sure to spend his time with us on weekends, bringing us out on day trips, buying us good food, and making sure we sleep well in a comfortable house that I can call home. Mother told me he cut off cigarettes when she was pregnant with their first child —  that’s also something I love about him. Father said he used to fight when he was younger, I’m still not sure if that’s true or not. He seems proud and confident but Mother always says he’s over exaggerating. He carried me to bed when I fell asleep on the couch; he let me sit on his shoulder when I couldn’t see the stage performance in a crowd; he rushed me to the hospital when I broke my wrist; he taught me how to ride a bike; he bought me a year pass to an amusement park; he said it’s okay to get a bad grade as long as I have improvements; he gave me more than I asked when it comes to pocket money. I’ve always been happy growing up with a loving father.


I hate him.

My father is a stubborn man. He never understands me. He raised his voice at me when I told him something he didn’t like. He doesn't understand cakes and celebrations, something I love. He lectured me about buying an expensive concert ticket, but it was my favourite artist. He eats rice and noodles a lot, he says that it's because he's Chinese, "We Asian mah..." I eat brunch and prefer light food. He just won’t keep his socks properly. Father said he felt like we would choose a dog over him. Ridiculous! One time he sneezed so loudly that I got embarrassed outside the public toilet. He said I'm lazy because I don't exercise, but I'm mentally stressed with work and I don't want to talk to him about that. He’ll never understand. Oh and privacy? I don’t think it exists in his dictionary.


I'm sorry.

My father is slowly losing his vision and I haven't shown him the brightest of me. He brought me to so many beautiful places, he bought me so much good food, he gave me a strong and safe place to live in, but all I’ve ever returned to him is nothing in comparison. You only raised your voice because I crossed the line and spoke in a disrespectful manner. You adopted the puppies for us after seeing how cute they were. And come to think of it, they seem to spend more time with you compared to us who are always busy with studies and work. You cared for my health after seeing how much time I spent sitting in front of my laptop during this pandemic. You are always checking if I’m doing okay. You listened to me talk about music and my favourite artists even if you don’t understand a thing. Every day, as I’m busy growing up into a young adult, I forget the fact that my father is also growing old.

We’re all nothing but humans, with flaws and shorts. There was a scene from the K-drama ‘Reply 1988’ that I’ll never forget. Dads don’t become Dads from the moment they’re born, they only try their very best to give us what we want.


I love him, more than ever.


The relationship between a father and their child isn’t always rainbows and sunshine, because it’s through the storms we face together that make us bond even closer than before. My father may not be able to read this article by himself, but dad, I want you to know, I love you, and am always thankful for everything you've given to me — shelter, education, food, etc. Some say it's a bare minimum a parent could give, but you've always given me more than enough.

Don’t forget to wish them Happy Father’s Day! If your mom is your superhero, wish her too! Love them today — more than yesterday, less than tomorrow. Show them you love them, even if it’s just via text.

Denise Chang is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Mass Communication (Honours) (Digital Media Production) at Taylor's University. She is also the Director of Public Relations for Taylor’s AKPK Club and Assistant Director of Events for Taylor’s Nature Club.

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