“One Learns Value of Parents After They Are Gone”
Today’s story-teller is nonfiction writer Megumi Hisada. The story was about ‘presence of fathers’.
Her father passed away last year. And she still cannot help but sigh every time when she thinks of him. When her mother fell sick at the age of 64, Hisada, divorced with children, moved into her parents’ house with her children to take care of her mother and father who was 70 years old at the time.
After all, she had spent the next 20 years living with her father. She tried to provide a welcoming and loving home for him.
However, it became a hard task for her. Since he spent most of his adulthood committed to his work, he could not appreciate the warmth of home. He used to work all the time and home was only a place to sleep for him. As they started living together, he asked her to be efficient, reasonable and contractual. He had settled daily schedules for her, and their relationship seemed like the one between a boss and a subordinate for her.
For example, he set the time even for washing the rice. He put a scalable and a calculator in the kitchen. The good point was that he did not dump all the work on her. He shared the housework. He even tried to learn how to cook. In the end, he became a great cook and his grandchildren called his cooking ‘grandpa’s French cuisine’. He became to be able to keep up with all the housework.
When she was about 20 years old, she felt oppressive to be living with him, and she run away from home. Then again, she ended up living with ‘the enemy’, her father, and again, she failed in changing him the way she wanted. But after all, she enjoyed living with him. She was glad that she could share his second life after his retirement and there were a lot of things that she learned from him.
Hisada says, “I acquired zest and preparation for living on my own without realizing them. I do not think it could have ever happened without losing him. I realized it is absolutely true that children learn how much they owe their parents after they are gone.”
The NIKKEI 01/09/2010 by Megumi Hisada (nonfiction writer)
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