LIFE | in focus
LIKE FATHER like daughter
FATHER’S DAY serves as a helpful reminder for each of us to take stock of what our fathers have done to shape the people we have become, inspiring us to become worthy role models for generations to follow. MAJKA KAISER gathers her memories to reflect on the riches her own father has passed down to her. Born to an Austrian immigrant, my father was a toolmaker and the eldest of six children. Born in 1939, he was just five years old when the war ended. He assumed the role of caregiver of his younger siblings and mother when his father tragically died when he was just 12. He never talks much about what a difficult childhood he must’ve had. Often recounting stories of the past that are filled with humorous anecdotes and even the ones that touch on harder times during the Russian occupation, he inevitably sees the funny side. The hopeless romantic my father is, he knew
girl could ever dream of, it is only now in my mid30s that I have really begun to scratch the surface to fully appreciate all that my parents sacrificed to give me what they never had, both materially and psychologically. Although my mother had a more dominant presence while growing up, my father was always there behind the camera while I performed on stage with the local theatre group or the ballet troupe and throughout my former singing career, and would later play the diplomatic role of peacekeeper between my mother and I, whose personalities clashed throughout
AS I TAKE THIS TIME TO RECALL ALL THOSE SPECIAL MOMENTS OF HIS GENEROSITY, I JUST HOPE I’M NOT TOO LATE TO REPAY THE GRATITUDE THAT OVERWHELMS ME. THIS IS MY ODE TO YOU, DAD.
instantly that my mother was the one for him when they met aboard the Oronsay in 1971. Returning to his homeland after living and working in Melbourne for three years, my mother, a teacher, was embarking on her lifelong dream of foreign adventures. Boarding in Sydney for the eight-week journey by ship, they met on day two at sea. After a three-year engagement, while my mother worked in an English boarding school, they returned down under together to marry and five years later, I entered the picture. Growing up an only child, I was lavished with all the attention and opportunities which scarcely could’ve been better. Yet, despite being given everything a
my turbulent teenage years and into adulthood. Dad was always good with his hands, building me a miniature Swiss chalet in our backyard from timber offcuts salvaged from his factory, and hours spent designing and perfecting science projects together in his workshop, concrete floor littered with curly wood shavings filling my nostrils with the smell of chopped wood and turpentine. As I take this time to recall all those special moments of his generosity, I just hope I’m not too late to repay the gratitude that overwhelms me. This is my ode to you, dad. What will yours be this Father’s Day?
“WHAT WILL YOUR ODE BE THIS FATHER’S DAY?