In honoring my father

As much as I like to dog schooling, I do appreciate my father, a former school teacher, for doing what he can to raise his children, yours truly and my sister. By being raised by a single mother, he didn't have a father to mentor him. And even though he became a Christian in Japan before he met my mother, like most American churches, I do not think he was mentored in being a Christian man let alone a priest of the family. Or if he was, he didn't live such an example that I was able to learn from. Much of the spiritual life in our home seemed to be driven by my mother.

However, he made some significant life changes which impacted my life forever: He was living with his mother and sister on a debt-free, relatively prime real estate and could have lived a life of ease and comfort (renting out parking spaces still pays for their monthly expenses). Instead, he choose to follow his calling and serve as a poorly paid church school teacher away from his home. We were dirt poor in Japan, so much that I recall my mother telling me how she would buy the bread's ends (which are normally cut off and today are given away for feeding birds).

The other is for him to emigrate his family to the US to work on his college degree. He never did finish since feeding and schooling his children became a priority. Both him and my mother worked here in the States so that my sister and I could attend church schools (we were so poor, we got scholarships from church and we still needed hand-me-downs from church friends and even rides to/from school). I recall of times when we didn't have any sweets in the apartment to eat such that I turned to eating just sugar!

In the end (for now), both of his children have received graduate degrees (Master's for me, M.D. for my sister) and are working full time and have obtained some measure of financial success. (You can read my older entries on what I personally think of these matters, but I'll leave it be for this entry.)

So, thank you Papa for all that you've done for us!

(Why do I write this when my parents do not even have internet access and even if they did, they won't be reading any English web pages? Maybe it's for my posterity?!?)