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“I need to make sure that your are safe. So I have to walk you home.”
“Other things can wait. You matter more.”
“…. I see your son as my son, too.”
“I want to marry you not because I want an offspring. I want to spend my life with you.”

That’s how my step dad ‘nyepik’ my mother. You can read the story here: UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

My dad is a man of his words. He kept his promise to spend his life with my mother. He officially adopted my youngest brother as his own son. He took care of them both. When I visited them for the very first time in Hong Kong, he kissed me and he hugged me. At that time, as an adult, I felt uneasy and uncomfortable. Now i’d give anything to kiss and hug him once again.

One and half year ago, I went back to HK. We spent good time together. Then one night, my mother sent me a photo.

I laughed so hard and asked her, why didn’t dad buy a new glasses? Because it’s expensive, mom said. I thought to myself, waaaa HK ppl are so stingy, laaaa! That crooked glasses is not even fashionable! So, being a good son I am, I bought him a new one. When I met mother the next day, she told me the reason why dad wouldn’t buy a new glasses.

“We’re both retired now, and we rely on our savings and money from people who rent the houses. Your stupid dad said ‘when I’m gone I don’t want you not to have money. So why should I spend it on unnecesarry stuff?’. Stupid man, your dad.”

I was silent. Ashamed of myself for thinking how stingy my dad was.

My mother continued, “Your dad is so stingy laaa! He doesn’t want to spend money for his own needs. He’d rather spend the money for me. He never bought new clothes I have to force him. He doesn’t want me to suffer after he’s gone. He wants to make sure I’ll be okay. Silly man.”

Even though my mother looked annoyed I can tell the proudness in her voice, that she’s so lucky to have found a man who loved her like no one else.

“I told your dad, my children will take care of me. He said, ‘yes i know but you need to have your own money and don’t bother your children!'”

I almost choked with my own tears and I fought so hard to hold it back. The waves of guilty feeling washed me over and over again.

And so we arrived at the store, my dad insisted on choosing the cheapest glasses. I couldn’t argue with him (I don’t speak cantonese) so whatever he wanted. Ater that, we had dinner together. Out of the blue, he kissed me on the cheek. It might be a simple gesture from him for saying thank you but it meant the world for me. What kind of father who kissed his adult son in public? Dad, kiss me again on my cheek. Once again. Please.

A week later, when I was already home in Jakarta, mother sent me this photo.

And my mother wrote, “Teddy (we call our dad ‘teddy’ instead of ‘daddy’. Maybe it a HK thingy I don’t know but i think it’s very cute) said thank you very much for the glasses and he wishes you rezeki yang banyak!”

This morning, Teddy has gone.

The noble man who would do anything to ensure mother will always be okay, has gone.

I can’t cry. I don’t know why. But the fond memories of him keep replaying inside my head. His warm smile, his sincere hug, the way he looked at my mother, how he tried so hard to communicate with us, how he paid attention when my mother was having conversation with her children even though he didn’t understand a single word, how he kissed me on the cheek, how he patted my back and muttered something — that my mother translated to me, alex is a good boy –, and how he kept his promises. All of them. He took care of my mother. He took care of my youngest brother. He told my mother that I am also his son and he loved me.

Dear Teddy, thank you. Thank you so much. You have no idea how kind you are. You have no idea how much we will miss you. You have no idea what i’d give to get a hug and a kiss from you once again.

This is a story of a true love from a simple man who wanted nothing but the happiness for his loved ones.
This is a story of a noble man. And now he is immortal in memories.

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