Some years later, I attended school in town - Leifiifi and then Samoa College - and so I was able to "reunite" and spend time with my Dad. We would leave together Monday morning, stayed in town and then return to the village on Friday. During the week he would make sure that I - and my older brother who attended Samoa College too - had money for bus fare and for lunch as well as our school fees. He was an independent and critical thinker. He had a knack for using quotable quotes, especially when he's giving us (the children) advice and counsel. His favorite maxim is "Usita'i muamua, faitio mulimuli!" (Obey first, complain after.) He especially was an ardent proponent of the following values in my life:
Like most Samoan parents, he would always remind us of the importance of education and gaining useful knowledge. His favorite advice for us as a motive to gain a good education - "ina ia aua ne'i outou ola falolo" (so you don't grow up impoverished and wanting).
|Dad drives best when he's drunk, though he |
never had a ticket for doing so ..lol
|Dad, remember this?|
Dad had this palpable sense of independence which I think he acquired as a result of being an only child. He was effectively self-reliant and he wanted the same for us. He worked hard so he would not depend on someone else. He was independent but quite unselfish. He loved and helped anyone who needed help.
Although I have some deep regrets for not spending time with him during his final days, I will forever remember him for his unforgettable influence, love and examples. His legacy has served as a compass throughout my life.
Dad your spirit is certainly not far from us everyday, and especially this Father's Day ...so let me say, on behalf of all of us: "Happy Father's Day!" Most of us now believe that "Families are Forever" and so someday we'll certainly be together ...again! I love you Dad!
The stubborn son!