1945 August 15th was the day Emperor Hirohito of Imperial Japan officially surrendered and Hong Kong was liberated. 1946 was the year my dad was born.
Often times, I think of the old photos my family had shared with me and I think back on those days when Hong Kong was mostly ocean and farmland. When the village where my dad was raised in was in its simpler days, when the river touched its borders.
One of my uncles has a painting of one of our ancestors hanging in the den of his house. An Imperial Qing magistrate wearing the black robes with an emblem of sorts on the front. The story is that our clan came from a line of people with influence. Our family is but one of dozens that came from those roots.
Sometimes I feel sad when I trace my thoughts back through time, wondering about the journeys our clan took to reach here, to watch parts of the branches meet their inevitable ends. I am such a branch. If our Great Grand Founder patron and matron were to see me now, I wonder if they would turn their backs on me and walk away or would they reach their hands out and help me to my feet?
1952 was the year my mom was born. My dad by then was six years old. Life wasn’t easy in Shatin.
As Hong Kong grew, the oceans were filled with sand and concrete to make way for highrises. Farmland and hundreds of years’ old villages were taken by the government and people relocated to government housing. Rivers shrank and pollution rose. Hong Kong became modern, but the days of simple times faded and so did the innocence of those born in those times.
1979 January 14th was when I was born. My dad by then was thirty three and my mom was twenty seven.
My dad had a lot of dreams. One of which was to be rich. Unfortunately, none of his decisions were successful. Every one of his endeavors had been failures. He is quick to judge, impatient and uneducated. He had no longer term reach. The majority of his life was surrounded in a thick fog. He could only see as far as the reach of his finger tips.
1981 was the year my brother Edmond was born. I was two. My dad was thirty five and my mom was twenty nine.
Fast forward to present day and I try hard not to be like my dad. I don’t gamble, play the stocks, I no longer drink alcohol and I am still poor. I made mistakes going through my twenties and I would like to think that if I had been more responsible with my money when I was twenty years old, then I would be much better off today. Yet I cannot place myself into that fantasy, because it would most probably mean that I would not have met most of the people I know today. Though, I probably would have met other people in the process. However, would destiny have brought Amber and I together regardless?
2013 September 6th was the day Amber and I got married in Germany.
Sometimes I think of what if I was responsible with my money back then? The sad part is what if one day in the future, I had traveled to Germany with friends for the sake of traveling and in a split moment, I walk pass a Caucasian woman with blonde hair and I wouldn’t have taken a second look or thought about her at all. If I was a spirit following myself through time and I saw this, a lot would go through my mind. That Caucasian woman with the blonde hair would have been my wife in a different time line. We would have grown old together.
2014 October 27th is today.
I hope, I wish that my mom does not have cervical cancer or any illness that would shorten her life exponentially. She does not deserve to go through terminal illness. She has been a wonderful mother and at times, a friend. Though I see myself still a fuzzy kitten and her, a fuzzy mother cat. A few years ago, I told her, “Maybe in a next life, we would all be reborn as cats and I would be your son again as a kitten.” She smiled.