I recall several occasions that I truly am grateful for. The times in my childhood that I recall made me who I am today in so many ways, it's values, core values that withstood all the atrocities we have faced as a family over the years. These are my memories that withstood the test of time.
Growing up with Dad was not always the best childhood experience, but I give him all the credit for building me this way; one who will work relentlessly for the better of others and self. With this, I learned to care, love and cherish those around me and in particular, my wife and children. He has taught me that much indirectly over the years.
My first memory I would like to point out is the time when we raised animals in Susupe. PIGS, a lot of pigs. As I recall, we had a total of 22 at one point. My memory takes me back to one early morning awakening. Dad says "wake up! we need to clip the teeth of the piglets as they come out!", I did not understand until that very morning, we were out there in the pen, clipping the new born piglets teeth with a wire cutter. He explains, "it is necessary so that the mama pig does not have any discomfort when feeding the piglets", some piglets teeth were so sharp and pointy, I saw the point. It was nice, because it was just dad and I with a lamp bulb emanating light in the dark.
Another memory is when dad came home from fishing for Atulai, buckets and buckets of fish were waiting to be cleaned, gutted, and stored. At first, I looked at these buckets of fish and wondered, how will I clean all this by myself? But as I progressed, the amount became smaller and smaller and after completing, I felt a sense of accomplishment knowing that the household family would enjoy what I've done,the labor intensity of fish gutting and cleaning made sense to me.
Of course, how can I leave out the real stickler of experiences? It was my birthday, I was about 11-12 at the time. Our neighbor was selling his used BB gun. Oh how did I want that so much.."$25.00 and you can have it!" our neighbor says... Well, it was my birthday and thinking how special this day was for me, I rushed home to ask dad for the $25.00 to buy the gun. Low and behold, his comments were, "you have to earn it!!", sounds just like dad... Anyways, he says, clean the lawn, feed the pigs, rake the grass, burn the trash and he will consider... did he buy it? Yes, but after hours of grueling labor work outside, but don't you see, it taught me so much.
Dad, you did teach me things that you probably don't realize you had. I am a person who learns by experience. I know I've caused you more trouble in the past, but that's because of how I learned for myself. I am forever grateful and with this, time stands still in my memory.