Finding meaning on Father’s Day — A letter to my two fathers

Finding meaning on Father’s Day — A letter to my two fathers


By Assunta Ng

Northwest Asian Weekly

From left: Dad Eric, Charles Johnson (associate justice of the Washington Supreme Court) and Assunta Ng in 1992. (Photo provided by Assunta Ng/NWAW)

Dear Fathers,

On this coming Father’s Day, I suddenly realized I have no memories of Father’s Day even though I had two fathers. How ironic!

Now that you’re both gone from this world, I wonder what it would have been like if I could have just one Father’s Day experience with either my biological dad or stepdad.   

So why didn’t you spend Father’s Day with me?

Both of you abandoned me when I was a child. That torturing question has opened up old wounds.



Dad Wai, since you and mom divorced before I turned 6, I did not hear from you or see you until I was in my teens. Dad Eric, you and mom got married, but you didn’t really want me at first, because of the financial burden. I could tell that you had a change of heart when I was in high school. That’s when we started to have longer conversations, and I didn’t have to avoid you and hide in my room. You were impressed that I passed the Hong Kong public examination (for high school seniors) with flying colors. Since then, you accepted me as your daughter. You traveled for business most of the time, and mom would join you sometimes, in Japan and Thailand for months.

Dad Wai (left) with Jason Liu in 2006. (Photo provided by Assunta Ng/NWAW)

Mom did a great job in playing the dual role of both parents when I was growing up. I couldn’t imagine what it was like to have a dad loving me, raising me, nurturing me, playing with me, and protecting me like I observed my friends’ fathers.

I am forever grateful that you agreed to support me financially to study in the United States, after much begging.

By the twist of fate, we were never together on any Father’s Day! But I did go back to Hong Kong for your birthdays and paid for the dinners.

Dad Wai, mother wanted us to sever ties by lying to me at one point that you were dead. Mom got upset every time I went to visit you. When I left for college in the United States, you were both in Hong Kong. Although I tried to visit Hong Kong as much as I could, it was never on Father’s Day. But then, if I had visited you on Father’s Day, would you have made time for me?

You both had children in your other marriages. I was just one of the daughters. I didn’t think I mattered. Years later, I found out that you, Dad Wai, told relatives how proud you were of me and raved that I was your most capable daughter, but lamented that you were unable to get close to me.

Two years before you died, I visited your home. There on your bed, I saw the Father’s Day card and envelope with money I sent long ago. Amazingly, you still remembered my birthday at the age of 90.

And you, Dad Eric, thank you for treating me as your real daughter as you grew older. You trusted me more than your own son. I played a big role at your funeral service, which I never expected.

Research has found that boys, more than girls, have a hard time in adjusting to not having their father around, and society has to pay a high price for their rebellious behaviors. I never knew what it would be like to have a father growing up. I can’t describe what I have missed. That void in my childhood can never be filled. Yet, I am not angry or bitter. My unhappy childhood has helped me to develop the ability to cope with adversity without blame. It’s not in my nature to blame. Nor do I give myself excuses for not working hard and giving up. I guess that’s the difference between the attitude of a survivor and victim.

Also, I strive for forgiveness rather than hate. I turned out to be a better person in understanding and accepting human flaws. What else can you ask for? And thanks to you, dads, I watched and gleaned meaningful lessons from the way you lived your lives.

To both of you in heaven, Happy Father’s Day!

Your daughter,

— Assunta


Source: Finding meaning on Father’s Day — A letter to my two fathers

16 Superb Health Benefits Of Cucumber | Care2 Healthy Living

Pick a handful of firm, dark green cucumbers and pop them into your shopping basket. Congratulations! You have just bought yourself a fruit (yes, the cool cuke is fruit, not a vegetable) full of good health!

Here is a short list of the impressive health benefits that a cucumber carries:

  • Keeps you hydrated. If you are too busy to drink enough water, munch on the cool cucumber, which is 96 percent water. It will cheerfully compensate!
  • Fights heat, both inside and out. Eat cucumber, and your body gets relief from heartburn. Apply cucumber on your skin, and you get relief from sunburn.
  • Flushes out toxins. All that water in cucumber acts as a virtual broom, sweeping waste products out of your system. With regular use, cucumber is known to dissolve kidney stones.
  • Lavishes you with vitamins. A B and C, which boost immunity, give you energy, and keep you radiant. Give it more power by juicing cucumber with carrot and spinach.
  • Supplies skin-friendly minerals: magnesium, potassium, silicon. That’s why cucumber-based treatments abound in spas.
  • Aids in weight loss. Enjoy cucumbers in your salads and soups. My favorite snack? Crunchy cucumber sticks with creamy low-fat yogurt dip.
  • Revives the eyes. Placing chilled slices of cucumber on the eyes is a clichéd beauty visual, but it really helps reduce under-eye bags and puffiness.
  • Cuts cancer. Cut down your risk of several cancers by including cucumber in your diet. Several studies show its cancer-fighting potential.
  • Stabilizes blood pressure. Patients of blood pressure, both high and low, often find that eating cucumber brings relief.
  • Refreshes the mouth. Cucumber juice refreshes and heals diseased gums, leaving your mouth smelling good.
  • Helps digestion. Chewing cucumber gives the jaws a good workout, and the fiber in it is great for digestion.
  • Smooths hair and nails. Silica, the wonder mineral in cucumber makes your hair and nails stronger and shinier.
  • Soothes muscle and joint pain. All those vitamins and minerals in cucumber make it a powerful enemy of muscle and joint pain.
  • Keeps kidneys in shape. Cucumber lowers uric acid levels in your system, keeping the kidneys happy.
  • Good for diabetics. Patients of diabetes can enjoy cucumber while also reaping its health benefits: cucumber contains a hormone needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin.
  • Reduces cholesterol. A compound called sterols in cucumber helps reduce bad cholesterol.

Read more:

Source: 16 Superb Health Benefits Of Cucumber | Care2 Healthy Living