My father was educated by the Japanese, back then, he’d studied in the higher education academies in Kaohsiung, so he has an assortment of classmates who came from all around.
As his classmates retired one by one, they’d started having the reunions; and starting when my father turned seventy, on every class reunion, he’d taken my mother with him. Their reunions happen once every two years, and, mandated that everybody who was there for the very first time, turn in a recent photo of her/himself, and because the classmates are scattered all over Taiwan, and for the sake of fairness, the location of their reunions are rotated between Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung. Every time when the reunion was hosted in Taipei, I’d always, gone along with my parents, as a family member.
a photo of a father and his daughter, found online…
And because there are always a lot of people who showed up for the occasion, the sponsors would always find a ballroom, a space, for all the families of the classmates to interact in. At the start of the activities, the emcee would report to the audience, how many people showed up for this reunion, how much it’d cost, and the location for the next reunion, and the name of the emcee—and afterwards, the emcee would then, put on a slide show of those class members who had passed away, so everybody can recall how well they once were, and, allotted for three-minutes’ of silence to honor those who are already gone.
The second year after my father had died, the class reunion was set in Taipei again, and it was, on Father’s Day. I’d accompanied my mother to the Hot Seas Hotel in Beitou for it, and maybe it’s because of Father’s Day, there were, more family members who were there, in the lobby, there were, fathers, my father’s age, and fathers, from younger generations, it was, very celebratory.
As the events started, the emcee started the slideshows, and, a lot of people, seeing their own fathers, they’d become, excited, and saddened too, excited, because they had the chance of seeing their father when they were younger, they’d felt that this was, very meaningful to them; and sad, because their fathers are passed on, and, no matter how much they’d, missed them, they can’t see their fathers again.
a father with his young child, making memories…
That day, as my father’s photograph showed up on the projectors, my sight became, blurred. Seeing how satisfied he’d smiled on, and his gaze, so filled with gentleness, I’d felt, very moved.
I think, that this, was probably the most handsome version of my father I’d ever seen. I can’t believe, that on Father’s Day that year, on my father’s class reunion, I’d gotten the chance, to see the truest side of him, for me, his daughter, it was, truly, unforgettable.
So, this, is the way, you honor your father’s memories, by going to his class reunion every single year, and, by recalling him every single day, and this, is something amazing, that the sponsor of this class reunion had, started too.