20 July 2009

RIP, Frank McCourt

When I heard about the author, Frank McCourt's death, the first thing I thought about was how my dad was the one who introduced me to his book, Angela's Ashes. Following which, I chanced upon its sequel, 'Tis, and bought it for my dad. I enjoyed both books immensely, giving me a glimpse into the childhood of a poor boy born to an alcoholic and his growing up years in a Catholic environment.

The next thought that struck me was how my dad was instrumental in shaping me to be who I am today... not that I'm a particularly fine specimen of an offspring, but still :P

I called him during my lunch break...

Me: Dad?
He: Quirkie? What's up?
Me: Nothing. You heard about Frank McCourt?
He: Yeah! He passed away. I was just about to tell your mum about the news! How did you hear about it?
Me: Through the internet...
He: You're at home or at work?
Me: At work lah...
He: Wah... you one eye on the internet, one eye at work huh?
Me: :P
He: He wrote Angela's Ashes and 'Tis, which I introduced to you right?
Me: Yeah, you did.
He: I introduce good books to you right?
Me: Yeah, you do =) So sad (about his death) right?
He: What's there to be sad about? Nothing lasts forever!
Me: Well, still...
He: One day your daddy will also die ok!
Me: Then I'll be even more sad!
He: Hrmph. Well ok I gotta go now. Bye!
Me: Bye!

Indeed. My dad introduced the pleasures of reading Reader's Digest and incessantly tested me on Word Power, tirelessly proclaiming "It pays to increase your word power!". He scolded me when I was young for not reading the news and showed me articles in Herald Tribune that covered controversial issues in Asia that were conveniently left out in our local press. He bought books from 2nd hand bookshops that were closing down and lugged them home whenever he went on trips. I never lacked reading materials because he loved reading, and he passed the habit on to me. I didn't always appreciate how he tried to share his thoughts by sharing his books, sometimes I would shove them back in his face. It was only much later when he made a chance remark that "when I share good books with you, I'm trying to share my views with you ok!" that I realised how the rejection was personal :P

Reading Angela's Ashes is like sitting with Frank over many meals, listening to him sharing stories from his past. At least, his stories are captured and recorded and enjoyed by many around the world, and they are an experience that my dad and I have shared.

Thanks, dad, for sharing your books with me.


The Hedonese said...

I wish my newborn baby wud one day thank me for sharing my books with him hehe...

Quirkz said...

Hi Hedonese,

Thanks for reading!

Haha maybe the thanks will come after some rebellious phases :P God bless!