Saturday, April 07, 2007

Luke Lau Bun Hay (1948 - 2007)

My Dad has left for his place in Heaven last saturday, a week has already gone and the family's sorrow has eased day by day. We have been busy preparing for his funearal and preparing a remembrance booklet for him to be given out to guests in the funeral. Reading through the contribution from his friends, I come to grip of what a remarkable character Dad has been, intelligent, strong willed and wittyly humourous are just some of the trend that flow through those passages. Below is my piece to the booklet "Dad's Final Lesson to Be Strong". A side of him that fits so well to the theme of this blog.

Dad in his final 5 months of his life has delivered to me the final lesson of how to be a strong and positive throughout life, whatever the adversary you may face tomorrow.

*****
As I was watching my father lying on the hospital bed on the final week of his life, I was infected by an overwhelming sense of sadness. It was to me that the curtains were slowly being drawn down on the “Story of Luke’s Life”. For the past 5 months, I felt that everyone have been faithful supporting actors in the final act of this drama, in which my Dad has showed us the most admirable side of him. While facing a terminal illness, he was never seen in despair, throughout the fight he has kept up his witty British humour and has insisted on taking every step that his body would sustained. Three weeks before he passed away, Mum and I accompanied him to his office to finish up all his projects at hand, then in his fragile voice he said, “Today’s work has been completed.” Then we rushed to the hospital as he had been in need of medical attention since the night before. It was terrible for all of us to watch our beloved one to go through the suffering but in a way I was glad and proud to have been given a role in this finale.
After the inevitable has happened, my role has shifted from being a “supporting actor” to being the “tape editor” of his story as I was putting together this remembrance booklet. I saw “footages” that I have never known before when reading the contribution from my father’s friends and family members. Like putting all the “clips” into a “movie”, I began to see Luke’s story as a whole. I gained a deeper understanding the kind of person he had been and I realized how the many little things he did has shaped me and made me the kind of person I am today.
When I was 14, I asked my parents to let me continue my study in England. Immediately when I arrived in the boarding school in England, Dad has insisted on arranging a local English family to be my “guardian family”. Hence when the first term breaks comes, while most of my fellow Hong Kong students would go to London to pack some homesick cure in the forms of Dim Sums, I on the other hand barely adapted the peculiar world of British boarding school, would travel to the nearby town and stayed with a family that I have barely known. Thanks to Dad’s arrangement I have gained an insight to the English way of life and was also able to get to know the Ramsey family who took me in as one of their own. Shortly after, Dad arranged me to head out to France for a 2 weeks home-stay holiday over the next school break. I have only just made myself comfortable in the Ramsey’s and once again I have to take a lonesome journey to an unfamiliar territory. Struggling with the language and a harsh landlady, the 2 weeks in France was no smooth ride at first but I came back with memories of great deals of funs and adventure in the end. Looking back it was really through these lessons selected by Dad that I developed an appetite for exploration and adventures; henceforth I became thrilled by unknown situations and bored with familiarity. Some of the best times in my life have been my climbing trips and backpacking holiday to distant shores, I owe these to my Dad’s training.
Now going through the life stories of Dad, I am surprised to know that he was also an adventurer in his days. He has been a Scouts leader and a keen hiker as a boy, as a young adult in England he often disappeared for solo backpacking trips around England. Growing up, this strong and independent character has carried him through many hurdles in life including the 3 years of court battle with his former employer. As he sailed into the unknown and desperate territories of carrying a cancer in his body, this tough and self-reliance side of him has simply shined brighter than ever.
While my supporting role in Dad’s story is over, I must carry on playing the main character in the story of my own. And in this story, Dad in his final 5 months of his life has delivered to me the final lesson of how to be a strong and positive throughout life, whatever the adversary I may face tomorrow.

10 comments:

Alex said...

A memory is a keepsake of time that lives forever in the heart. May your treasured memories bring solace during this time of loss.

With Sympathy

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