One day, I drove past The Strand at Kota Damansara.
I very seldom go to this part of town, but I had come to this place to see my dad a few times.
During my dad’s final few years, he started a new business and had a shop near The Strand. At 71 years old. That was my dad. Always the entrepreneur. Always looking for a new venture, and always ready to start a new operation.
I remember the gleam in his eyes when he announced his new idea. It brought him so much excitement. His entire being was charged up with adrenaline and energy. It was almost as though he found his calling once again.
I also remember the disheartenment in his voice when he told me he shut it down a few years later, due to his illness. The unspoken wish in his eyes. The brokenness in his spirit.
It was as though he was disappointed at himself, for not being able to make it. For not being able to make a come back, like the good ol’ days. He had so much plans and dreams, to build a great empire and leave a great legacy for his children.
My dad had all it took to be a successful businessman. He had the brains. He had the ideas. He had the wisdom. He had the personality. He definitely had the guts and determination. He was the most resilient man I know. The most optimistic. The most brave.
Yet, luck, if we can call it that, had never been on his side. And his had been a tough life.
He might have thought he did not manage to leave any heritage for all his children. But to me, he left something greater than riches.
He left me memories of a loving father who would do all he could to provide his best for his kids. He left me his courage to never give up and to keep headbutting on no matter how tough life could be. He left me his words to always be faithful to my family and to be true to my friends. He left me a real life example on how to be down-to-earth and humble, while still confident about one’s own strengths. He left me a glimpse of an absolute genuine and raw conversation between man and God when all else failed and all else faded. He left me countless lessons of life and love.
He left me the greatest legacy I could ever wish for – and that is the privilege of being his daughter.