“Have you watched Big Fish? The story of a dying old man telling stories to his son who never believe a single word the father says.”

It is no secret that my dad is suffering from cancer. What type, how fatal, how serious, I do not know. The reason is he has always told me one thing and the truth is always another. I do not know what is real and what is not anymore.

Recently, these past few weeks he has been saying things like,” I have 6 months left and this is my 5th month.”

Today, he revamped it into, ” I have 5 months left from today.”

He started asking me to find pictures of my mom (died when I was 8) and asking me to cremate him beside her. Stuff like that. Everyday.

I still remember when my mom was in her last 6 months, she talked bout nothing at all but death. If you have experienced it before, you know that it is a mental torture if you are on the listening end.

That’s because you will never know if it is a call for attention or if it is a plan of suicide or if it is just depression.

I seriously cannot imagine arranging a funeral when I am 24. I desperately hope that this is only a call for attention. It will be a letdown for you readers if nothing happened so it’s a bright flashing warning.

I have always been a slow lagger when it comes to traumatic events. The impact comes much later so I thought that while I am still sane, I should write something that I could reread when I go nuts.

Ok, here it goes.

Dear Haze,
Do remember that since you were 8, you were trained in every aspect to face this day. The day where both your parents are gone and you are living in a stranger’s house with siblings that are half connected to you. The day when you are finally alone, but free.

Stay strong, don’t collapse. Though the family is not yours, they are now the closest thing you ever have. Though this mother may not be your biological mother and she never will play a mother’s role to you, you have to open your heart and embrace this family.

Do not be a loner. Do not think that they do not want you in the house. Do not despair when Chinese New Year comes.

Do not take out your depression and anger at your friends and people who love you. Do not hate them for sympathizing and pitying you. Don’t neglect your work, it is your future.

Do not cry alone. Do not blame yourself for ruining your perfect family. Don’t dwell on the magical and beautiful family that you have lost. Do not expect to find this love in other families.

Keep the image of your dad crying at your mom’s coffin out of your head. You are stronger than he is.

If you feel like you need a mentor, a guide and a light to help you in living life, please please please go out with someone.

Last of all, know that you can never find another love like your mother’s love for you. Accept it, move on and let go.
Know that you can never have another father-daughter relationship as intense, painful and emotional as this. Keep it in your memories, move on and let go.

Ps. Don’t smoke so much during this period.

A Smarter and Stronger Haze.