Dad’s Favorite Child

Dad’s Favorite Child

father and daughter

father and daughter

Dad wasn’t a complicated man. He always spoke his mind. Yet, at his funeral service, I learned something new.

My sister Karin paused in the middle of delivering her eulogy speech. I thought she was going to cry. Suddenly, she blurred out, “I was Dad’s favorite child.”

That’s impossible! Sitting in the front row, I shook my head violently, letting her know I strongly disagreed.

Karin looked at me and said, “It’s true, Helen. I know you don’t like to hear it, but I am telling the truth.” She continued telling us how Dad always brought her to his Chinese opera club, how he often bought candies for her on their way to the club.

Dad quit his Chinese opera club after we moved to Taiwan. That explained! Karin must be Dad’s favorite child before I was born. I had no doubt who Dad’s favorite was, but if it made Karin happy, I was ok to let she claim she was the one.

After Dad’s funeral, back in Minnesota, my brother Shao had a terrible time to cope. I drove two hours to visit him every Saturday, trying to comfort him. He cried each time. Seeing all my effort didn’t yield any satisfying result and, at the same time, not having had any chance to deal with my own grief, I finally lost my temper.

“Would you please stop crying? Dad was 90-year old. He died quickly and peacefully. What more could we ask?”

“It’s easy for you to let go, you are not Dad’s favorite child. Dad loved me the most, and I miss him.”

I was stunned.

Shao continued, “Karin knows nothing! I was Dad’s favorite child.”

It was clear to me that Shao honestly believed what he said. I got a little confused.

Once I read a story that a dying mother told her three sons one by one that he was her favorite child, and then asked each to keep it a secret. I didn’t like the story. I didn’t believe her. Did dad purposely mislead us like that woman did to her sons?

I remember the day Dad took me to college when I was a freshman. In my dormitory, while I was sitting on bed watching, he carefully placed my clothes into the chest drawer, and said, “Mom isn’t here. You have to learn to take care of yourself. ”

I can still picture him hunched down reaching to the lower drawer, while avoiding eye contact with me. I knew he was afraid of seeing me cry. Did Dad accompany Karin or Shao to her or his college?

The Thanksgiving after Dad passed away, we had a family gathering. As always I spent a lot of my time teasing my nieces and nephews. One afternoon, two of my nieces came to me demanding to know who my favorite niece was. I thought for a while. “I Love you two the same,” I said.

Karin nodded. “Aunt Helen loves all of you equally,” she said.

Suddenly, it dawned on me that Dad, too, loved us equally. And because he loved each of us so much that each of us assumed he or she was Dad’s favorite.

Dad passed away 13 years ago; I have pondered on this whole experience many times ever since. I have no problem accepting the fact that Dad loved us equally, if that was true. But was it?

I have reached to a conclusion, believe it or not… I believe Dad did love one of us a little more. But I’m not going to tell anyone who that person is.

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About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
This entry was posted in Dad, Memoir, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Dad’s Favorite Child

  1. Cee Neuner says:

    Such a touching story. When you write I can really feel the feelings of your family. It’s sweet and tender and loving. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Cee. Good morning! We have our arguments too 😉 But we love each other regardless — I guess that’s normal. 😉 Thank you so much. I wasn’t sure if I should continue writing personal stories on this blog. It’s nice to know you enjoy reading it.

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  2. What a wonderful read.. I say you were each his favorite as my children are to me..
    🙂

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    • Helen C says:

      Thanks Lynne. I agree with you, it was a surprise to each of us, that’s all. 😉 But, do we love each child the same way? I don’t know. I suspect we tailor our love to fit each child. I only have one child so that’s only a guess.
      Have a great day!

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      • I have 5 children and I can honestly neither are my favorites but yes I love each differently (not depth, just different) as they are each unique.
        have a great afternoon!

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        • Helen C says:

          You look too young to have 5 children!
          I always thought my Mom loved my brothers more. It took me many years to realize that she loved me (a lot) too, just different. I wonder how would a child tell? As a child, I only see the difference, and not knowing why. I always want to write a novel on that… someday.

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  3. My daughters each think I favor the other. So I figure I must be doing a good job of parenting.

    As for my status as one of three daughters, my sisters and I are always vying for the “FD” (favorite daughter) title. We appease each other by saying that the FD is whomever is with Dad at the moment. But I still think it’s me! 🙂

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    • Helen C says:

      Thanks for visiting my blog, Joyce. I totally understand the attraction of that “FD” title 😉 Interestingly, none of us even declared that she/he was Mom’s favorite. Maybe we are more clear about Mom’s love?

      Just left a message on one of your stories. I enjoy reading your stories a lot. I am sure I will go back to read more.

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  4. Such a great story. I have no doubt who you think your father’s favorite was. No matter. All three of you were very blessed.

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    • Helen C says:

      Thanks for visiting my blog, Emilio. I believe you were right on who I think my father’s favorite was and all of us were very blessed. 😉
      Thanks.

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  5. Elizabeth says:

    Beautiful post Helen, we love our kids the same way, but at certain time one child needs more attention and care than the other, so seems that there is more love going one way than another. But at the end there is not way to make a distinction.

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    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Elizabeth. Like I said to Lynne, it took me a while to realize that my mom love us the same way. When your mom cook a egg for only one kid, it does make you wonder, even though the kid was just came home from college. I didn’t understand back then, but I did understand later 😉

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  6. Amy says:

    Thank you for sharing the story, Helen. It quite moving. This tells how much you and your sister and brother love your dad.

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    • Helen C says:

      Since we were little, my mom kept reminding us how great our dad was. I love my dad a lot, but I think my mom is (was?) an amazing woman. I count my blessings everyday.

      Like

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