Eulogy to my dad Albert Leong

My father Albert who I know had TWO loves in his life : Running and Public service. In his younger days, he was an accomplished athlete and he had a good collection of trophies. But I never knew why he liked running until about ten years ago when I myself fell in love with long distance running. My dad used to spend hours serving the local residential community in Tiong Bahru. I never understood why he spent his time away from home until I myself started to get involved in our small Christian communities in Bishan.
When I was younger, I was an attention seeking child trying to win his attention. I only was able to get his attention when I was sick. So I was happy to be sick and remain sick , which was stupid. There are no perfect handbooks on how to be parents then or even now. When I became a parent of three wonderful children, I gradually understood some of his reasons and difficulties. I have learnt to accept him for who he IS, and NOT who he can become. Acceptance was a new vocabulary that I learnt pretty late.
My father Albert felt much pain the his last period of his earthly life. Pain that seemed somewhat unjustified in our mortal eyes but which can only be rationalised in the divine and redemptive suffering of Christ. During the final years, by God’s grace, I was blessed to have more time to spend with him and to learn more about this man whom I have called father for 77 years.  We started to communicate in  special ways so that suddenly words were unnecessary. We prayed together each time we met and in those mystical moments all the barriers that separated us seemed to be broken. I added then another new word in my vocabulary : gratitude. I learnt that despite the many flaws of my earthly father, he was a faithful provider, a loving husband and a wonderful father. Father, forgive me for I know NOT enough the pain and effort and ALL the crosses you have to carry to bring us up all of us- myself, Henry and Susan.
Funerals and eulogies are not just for the dead but for the living as well. Being a father is a really a tough vocation in our present age. My dad Albert may not have been the perfect father but in his imperfection is found the loving opportunity for all of us to complete it with acceptance, gratitude, and forgiveness. I love you father. Thank you for being my father.

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