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I am in your heart

By , Arlington Heights, IL
“Where are you, honey?” My mom asked.
“ In your heart!” I responded with a mischievous voice…
The image of my mother and me in a little house exists in my mind. Slowly and clearly. That is my childhood, which seems to have just my mother’s silhouette but lack of my father’s firm fulcrum, as my father had to study abroad for his Master. My memory about the word “Father” at that time was just some fuzzy - black – and - white photos that my mother and I used to watch and hold carefully before going to bed.
The more I felt my mom’s overflowing love, the more I felt empty of fatherhood. My mom walked me to school; my mom fed me the warm dinners, and my mom listened to me talking about everything. Nothing was about dad. Nothing. I envied with my classmates whose fathers carried them on their back to school, or I felt self- pity when I saw some girls coddle themselves in front of their great dads after school. Their dads gave them hugs, kisses and colorful candies. I desired my father’s being-by-me. If he was there, I had jumped for joy, given him a big hug and said out loud to my friends with a proud voice: “ This is my dad. He is a doctor; he can cure diseases, and he helps people. He is a great father!” But he was not there. What a bitter truth! I stood there alone crying, looking at my happy friends and waiting for my mom. I became a frail child. I was so easy to cry and fall that tears were always on my cheeks and in my heart.
*
“ Where are you, honey?”
“I… am here…” I stayed distant with my father in the Noi Bai airport and replied to him with a shy and quiet voice. I did not know why I could not do anything more meaningful although before that I had been really eager to meet him. I had spent hours to choosing the most beautiful pink dress; I had spent hours to standing in front of the mirror to say the word “Daddy”, and I
had told my mom to go to the airport 2 hours earlier to wait for my dear father. However, at that moment, my father was just a stranger. I did not have even a bit of feeling about him. Time and space cruelly corroded the love of my father and me. Then, I – a little girl - cried loudly in the huge airport.
My father should be more considerate to me but he was not. When I fell, he did not stay beside me. Instead, he just stood watching me pick up myself. My father had been patient and demure in front of me like the ancient tower. He rarely hugged me, kissed me or gave me candies. He yelled at me when I made mistake. I remember that it was autumn, which has fallen-yellow leaves, light wind and a little bit honey-colored sunshine; my father walked me to school. Birds chirped everywhere that created a very happy song. That must have been such a beautiful moment of us. Suddenly, I saw the giant colorful candy in the store that was opposite to my school.
“ Daddy, I love that colorful candy over there. Buy it for me please!!!” I pointed toward the giant colorful candy and begged my father.
“ No, honey. Let’s go. It is late now.” He replied coldly.
“ Please, please, please!!!” I had my eyes moist with tears.
“No is no, honey! N-O” He spelled the word.
Then I cried out loud. Daddy picked me up by his big hands, carried me to school, and ignored my behavior. What a bitter truth! My dad could not buy me – his little daughter who he was away from for a very long time- even candy.

The following day, I still cried and beseeched my dad to buy me the giant colorful candy, and my dad still kept his cold face, picked me up by his big hands, carried me to school and ignored my behavior.
The next two days, I still cried and insisted my dad to buy me a giant colorful candy, and my dad still kept his cold face, picked me up by his big hands, carried me to school and ignored my behavior.
The next three days, when I stopped crying and begging, suddenly, my father looked at my eyes deeply and gave me my dream-giant-colorful candy.
*
Now, I am standing here, at the bus stop, waiting for the bus, and thinking back of my past, my life. Without mom, without dad, and without family. I am in the United States and I am away from home. Staying away from home, I have come to many important realizations. Now, I understand why my father always treated me strictly with “military rule” when I was home. He just wanted me to be a strong girl in life, especially when I am away from his arms. He has put the very firm bricks into my life. He has taught me how to have my stance in an issue, how to be independent and how to be keep-going and never- give- up. I have to say “ Thank you” to my dear father one million times, and I also have to say “ Sorry” to him one billion times.
What a bitter truth! I used to misunderstand and blame my father. I did not respect the moments when we were together, and I realized his love so late… Now, I just want my father to be with me so that I can massage his hurt-back and pick up his grey hair. I just want to make it up to him. I desire my father’s being-by-me. If he was here, I would jump for joy, give him a big hug and speak out loud: “ I love you!!!”
*


Ring, Ring, Ring… My phone vibrates tremulously and rings loudly.
“ How are you doing? Where are you, honey?” It is my dear father’s bass voice. I am so happy. My heart busts into song.
“ I am… in your heart!”





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