in memory of my father-in-law

I have to admit that I wasn’t an ideal daughter-in-law for my father-in-law. We hardly talked, cause we didn’t have a good relationship when he’s around. I got to know him after Yudi and I got married. He didn’t show up in our wedding, part of it because he didn’t agree with our relationship, and part of it cause he was sick. He didn’t like me cause I am from different background and I am older than his son. He never really say that in my face but I know that from my husband. Although I didn’t really like him, but we were  never argue or anything, just once when we’re having a family meeting and they were argued, I speak up and told him to try to listen when his kids are talking.

When we’re on our honeymoon in Lombok, I remember my mother-in-law called us and said that he wanted us to stay at their house when we come back, but my husband and I have agreed to rent a room nearby their house. Then after a year for some reason we moved to their house just before I had my first baby. We hardly talk, cause he’s in his room all the time and I was out for work during the day.  My parents never met him until after my daughter Jasmine was born. One day my dad came to visit, he asked if he can see my father-in-law. I went to his room and told him that my dad would like to meet him, he’s ok so they met. He was surprise because although my father is older than him, but healthy and looking younger, cause my father is an active person and still working.

Since that time he got to know my family better and come to appreciate me. Couple times he came to stay in our house, there are times when I don’t feel like going home because when he talked to Yudi he tend to raised his voice. (at that time I was pregnant my second baby, so i was a bit sensitive). My husband patiently stand between me and his father. He never take side, but try to make me understand about him. Papa’s life was tough, he had to work since young age and always working hard untill he got sick  so maybe he didn’t really know how build a warm and family atmosphere in the house. In reverse my husband communicate politely to papa about how different my family was from them, my culture, my expectation. I really appreciate what my husband did for us.

What I admire about my father-in-law was that he made it to university and graduated. Although he had to take care of himself because none of his children live nearby, but maybe by doing something he became healthier and enjoy his life after my mother-in-law pass away. He also went to Taiwan twice, something that he always wanted to do, and he saw some of his grandchildren born. He stay in Surabaya for awhile but didn’t work, so he got sick again and pass away in December 2005. I am glad my husband took the time before to visit him, talked to him and say what’s in his heart. So when he go, there is no regret.

They brought his body back to Jakarta, and buried him at the same grave with his wife, they are together at last. Many of our friends and family come to pay respect. Goodbye Papa! Even though i didn’t really know you and not liking you at the time, thanks for raised and took care of Yudi when he was a kid. I believe some of his best qualities I enjoy right now are from you. Thank you also for gave both of my kids their chinese name; Kwan Siao Ie for Jasmine and Kwan Siao Kwang for Edgar. That’s show that you accepted me and my kids into your family.

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