Happy (early) Father’s Day
In light of upcoming Father’s Day, Refinery29 published a roundup of 11 of SF’s coolest dads. Most Dads don’t get the every day recognition they deserve, my own included.
Last week, I had dinner with four women who used to work with my dad when we were still living in Hong Kong in the 80s. Although they (and the rest of their old PR crew) see him only once every blue moon, the long-lasting dynamic between the group is truly something special.
These were the women who held me in their arms weeks after I was born. During breaks, my sister and I were shuffled between the PR staff at the VIP office of HK’s airport and received royal treatment as only first ‘work babies’ would. I can go home now and flip through faded old photos of each woman, and some of the men, holding us up tickling us to laugh for the camera. Wendy and I grew up thinking these people were such cool adults – they’d always be reserved a special spot in our hearts.
I took a bus back to my aunt and uncle’s after dinner, and one of the women, Melissa, wanted to accompany me since she lived just a few stops after mine. We talked a bit about what she’d been up to, what I’m doing now, and about the past.
She then brought up the day that my family left for the U.S. It was 1987 – 10 years before what would be the Hong Kong ‘handover.’ I was almost four. She said she remembered so clearly – almost haunted by – the look in my Dad’s eyes when he looked back. He was last to step through the gate at the airport…he looked back at the closest friends he had made in his adult life. She said he looked like he almost couldn’t bare it – to leave everything he had known, loved, and felt safe with…all to pursue a possibly better future for his two daughters and his wife. At the time, no one knew what it would be like once HK was handed over to the PRC. To this day, I wonder what life would have been like if we had stayed. I do know that my parents made countless sacrifices for us. They left their loved ones, they left a city they both loved, and they left for the unknown. That, to me, was the most selfless thing they could have done.
Now, every time I return, I weep just a little knowing that I will also have to go. Hong Kong is about holding onto memories of what it once was and hopes of what it will always be. Hong Kong, for me, will always represent my parents’ love.