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  • ben choo

2023 Recap

It's January 1st, 2024, and I want to send out New Year wishes to everyone. Hoping that 2024 brings heaps of new adventures your way. Before we jump into the new year, I want to thank everyone who showered me with love and support in 2023. It was a tough year for me, especially in March when my father passed away after battling cancer for three years. It's still hard to believe he's not around anymore. But, you know, life keeps moving forward, doesn't it?

I have five brothers and sisters, and I am the one who inherited my father's creativity and sense of art. As a makeup artist, I always thought my skills were honed by hard work and that I lacked talent, but my father proved me wrong. when my father fell ill. He drew most of the time. His drawings were pretty good. It was only then that I realized I had inherited my father's traits! My teacher told me on the first day of makeup class that I wasn't talented in makeup and that I needed to work harder than those who were born with it. Looking back, it's not entirely accurate.

I used to imagine my father as MacGyver when I was younger. He is constantly thinking outside the box and creating something out of nothing. I was taught from a young age to never give up in search of a solution. We were poor when we were young, and my father couldn't afford to renew his car's road tax and he wouldn't be able to get to work without his car. However, Dad had a brilliant plan. With a pencil, he was able to change the date from the 6th to the 8th. Of course, this is illegal, but it bought Dad some time until he get his wages. His way of thinking appears to have rubbed off on me. Once, the groom forgot where he had put his bowtie, and there was no time to look for it. At that point, I donned my MacGyver hat and made a bow out of the handle of a recycle bag. Obviously nothing compares to the real thing, and no one would guess what it is made of from afar.

My dad was always a gentle soul with a mild demeanor. As far as I can remember, my father has never been angry with my siblings. One piece of advice he gave me that I still remember is to never let yourself take a wrong step. It will always come back to haunt you. It may appear superficial, but how many people, including my father, can do that? I'm sure he has regrets, which is why he tells me not to repeat after him.

When I first got my license, I asked my father, "What do you consider a good driver?" and his response was when your passenger feels safe sitting in the car you are driving. Even now, when I have a passenger in the car, I drive slower and more cautiously.

By now, some may assume me & my dad were exceptionally close, but the reality is quite different. Since relocating from Ipoh to KL, annual visits during Chinese New Year became the norm, and our phone conversations were sporadic. Yet, amidst the physical distance, there was an undeniable love. Now that he has moved on to a better place, a part of him resides within me, an enduring connection that time nor distance can diminish.

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