• Was it my real destiny, or just Dad being protective? (EyeEm)Source: EyeEm
Until his new-found hobby, Dad had been a stereotypical Asian father who didn’t know how to communicate with his children.
By
Wing Kuang

10 Feb 2021 - 10:06 AM  UPDATED 8 Oct 2021 - 10:58 AM

Two years ago, after I was ghosted by my crush, my Dad, living in Macau, messaged me his latest horoscope reading. “It says you have no luck in romance this year,” he wrote. “Don’t be too sad. Better things are waiting for you.”

As always, I burst out laughing at Dad’s unusual but predictable horoscope readings. Whenever I asked dad to read a romance forecast for me, he would always repeat that I had no luck in dating. Was it my real destiny, or just Dad being protective? 

But the universe did cast some magic for my relationship with Dad through the horoscope readings. Every week, Dad would check the star forecast for the family and advise us on what to avoid. He would read the predictions of famous astrologists like Susan Miller, and then come out with his interpretation. 

Mum once complained that Dad was too obsessed with horoscopes. But what she didn’t know was when she wasn’t at home, Dad and I would call and discuss what we read about the star mysteries.

Mum once complained that Dad was too obsessed with horoscopes. But what she didn’t know was when she wasn’t at home, Dad and I would call and discuss what we read about the star mysteries.

The first time I found out about Dad’s special interest in astrology was in 2012, the year he retired from work and found himself lost in a large amount of free time. Mum wanted me to teach him how to use the computer, so I gave him a lesson. At first, he was against the idea, but as time passed, he spent more and more time in front of the screen. Then one day, when Dad left home with his computer on, I found him browsing horoscopes. 

I was shocked. Coming from a Cantonese background, astrology like Feng Shui was part of our lives. Every Chinese New Year, my family would buy those Zodiac prediction books by gemologist Mak Ling Ling or Peter So Man Fung. But I never expected Dad, then 55, to get into horoscopes which were usually loved by teenage girls. 

Dad had also been a stereotypical Asian father who didn’t know how to communicate with their children. He’s also bad at talking to people. Mum always complained that he failed to explain his opinions clearly, which always led to their arguments in the end. Growing up, I didn’t talk to Dad much either. During my time at boarding schools, I called Mum almost every night but never gave Dad a call. There’s a time when Dad picked up the phone, but immediately, I asked him to hand it to Mum. 

Years later, I did question myself why I treated Dad in this way. It might be because I found it more comfortable to talk with Mum, as the mother-daughter relationship came more naturally. But really, it was because I never gave patience to Dad. For him, it took time and effort to communicate with his kids, and I just never gave him the opportunity. 

In 2014, two years after Dad fell into horoscopes, I left home for Australia to pursue university.

In 2014, two years after Dad fell into horoscopes, I left home for Australia to pursue university. Studying abroad could be joyful and painful. Homesickness and study pressure often led me to cry at midnight. My anxiety reached its peak when it came to exams, and I often ended up calling home, bawling. And again, I only called Mum. She had told me that I should call Dad more often as he missed me, but I just didn’t follow her words. 

One day before my exam, I received a message notification from Dad. This was the first time Dad had messaged me since I left home. I clicked into it, finding it was a horoscope reading! “For students whose star sign is Scorpio, you will have lots of fortunes in exams this week. Keep your confidence, and your efforts will be paid off.” Following the message was a cat sticker from Dad. 

Reading the message, my anxiety was gone. Certainly, that wasn’t a horoscope reading, but it was Dad’s version of telling me that he loved me. While surprised by Dad’s message, a sense of guilt flashed into my mind. How come I never talked to Dad, since I came to study abroad? When Dad was trying his best to communicate, why was I just waiting for him to step out, rather than trying it first? I also realised that while I expected Dad to be verbal, I never told him loudly that I loved him. 

Reading the message, my anxiety was gone. Certainly, that wasn’t a horoscope reading, but it was Dad’s version of telling me that he loved me.

My mind flowed back to the night of many years ago when Mum was in the hospital because of a stroke. I hid under a blanket with tears as I worried Mum would leave me. Dad heard me crying. He entered my room, sat next to me, patted my shoulder, telling me that everything would be fine. “I’m always here with you,” he said. Dad had always loved me in his way. And it was my time to speak out my love to him. 

Last year, Dad intended to visit Australia and attend my graduation, COVID-19 disrupted his plan. During the lockdowns in Melbourne, Dad would send me messages asking about my wellbeing, usually followed by cute stickers. The week after I graduated, he called me and talked about his latest horoscope reading. He said I would face challenges in terms of jobs, but I should keep good faith as Scorpios like me were blessed with work fortune in 2020. It’s hard to tell whether I’m indeed blessed as a Scorpio, but I am grateful as I’m blessed to have such a great father. 

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