Yale Guen Mar, are you surprised that not even your caregiver Meichi Thai bothered to arrange for a surprise birthday party as you turned 80 on Thursday, February 1.?
It was a foregone conclusion that Brenton or Carlton would not celebrated the day. And Brenton's sisters are very unlikely to remember even the date of your birthday.
Yale Guen Mar, your best bet would have been to get in touch with your "message-carrier" cousin in Santa Clara. You should have told her you have a message for her to carry to your revered cousin Homer Yale Mar in Duncanville, TX. And if she chose to come to Merced, CA to collect the message from you, you could have surprised her with your surprise birthday for yourself. Imagine someone arranging his own surprise birthday. That will be heck of a message for her to carry to Col. Homer Yale Mar.
Yale Guen Mar, if you live to be 80, it would be a good occasion to recall how your life was transformed in November of 1949 when you sailed into San Francisco from Hong Kong after bidding good bye to your mother Kim Hi Wong and your sister Ellen Heath.
They say your life flashes past your mind at the time of your death. Yale Guen Mar, now that you are as close to death as you have ever been in the last 80 years, it is time for you to think of your life and what you owe to your parents Kim Hi Wong and Tony Chee Mar.
Yale Guen Mar, always remember what you owe to your Chinese parents.
Yale Guen Mar, never blame your mother, Kim Hi Wong, and your father, Tony Chee Mar, for all your woes. Act like a grown up. For heaven's sake, you'll be 79 in less than 3 weeks. Act your age. You should make an honest attempt to own up to your deep character flaws before you croak.
Yale Guen Mar, aren't you the black sheep in the family?. KIm Hi Wong always worried about you. That is why she spanked you all the time to keep you in the straight and narrow. No wonder your buttocks were sore all the time when you were growing up.
But Kim Hi Wong's efforts to redeem you never succeeded . She could drag a mule like you to the well, but she couldn't make you drink from the well.
Yale Guen Mar, you will be 79 on February 1. Do you remember how you muddied the San Francisco Bay in 1949 as soon as you got off the boat from Hong Kong?
Yale Guen Mar, try to make a new beginning. Try hard to get over your grudge against your "dad" Tony Chee Mar.
Yale Guen Mar, you owe Tony Chee Mar everything. Recall that you met Tony Chee Mar for the first time as a 11 year old "Fresh of the Boat" in San Francisco - you had just arrived from Hong Kong in 1949 after the communists took over the country you were born in. Out of the kindness of his heart, Tony Chee Mar (a US citizen) declared that you were his son so that you could be in USA.
Recall what he told you when you arrived in San Francisco. Tony Chee Mar told you, "Yale, you are a turkey".
Tony Chee Mar then added, "This is Thanksgiving. We are going to have turkey."
Wonder-struck, you had said, "Dad, what is Thanksgiving, what is turkey?"
Tony Chee Mar did punish you often, but that was only because he had to and not because it gave him any pleasure. Yale Guen Mar, you were always a pain in the ass. But Tony Chee Mar hoped his (and Kim Hi Wong's) punishments will help you become a better person.
Unfortunately, that was not to be. You were simply incorrigible. You just couldn't stay out of mischief. This, together with the obsession you had developed as a child in rural China for finger-fucking pigs in their assholes, made it inevitable that you would never be more than the miserable self you are right now.
Your mommy, Kim Hi Wong, and your dad, Tony Chee Mar, were good parents and noble souls. Your accomplished siblings Donald Yale Mar, Ellen Heath and Eugene Yale Mar have never failed to acknowledge the contribution of their parents Kim Hi Wong and Tony Chee Mar to their own successes.
Yale Guen Mar, don't be an ingrate. Your plight is your own doing. Tony Chee Mar always did his best to bring you up the right way. It is the height of ingratitude to badmouth Tony Chee Mar for your own failings.
The only think they were ignorant of was that they were fighting a losing cause in trying to get an incorrigible rascal like you to grow up into decent human being like their other children Donald, Ellen and Eugene. But one can drag a mule to the well, but it cannot be made to drink from the well unless it wants to.
Yale Guen Mar, stop cussing at Chinese parents.
What's wrong with being typical Chinese parents?
Donald, Ellen and Eugene grew up to be accomplished, honest upright citizens
So did Homer, Gini, Lawrence, Homer and Clarence.
You are the only black sheep in the family.
There was nothing wrong in the way Kim Hi Wong and Tony Chee Mar brought up their kids. It wasn't their fault that they had a kid like you.
Tony Chee Mar brought you up in his home in 914 10th Street in Phoenix, AZ. He let you work in his cafe. He taught you English and mathematics. He taught you the difference between a rational number and an irrational number.
If you failed to get an education, it was your fault, not theirs. Your siblings didn't fail them. Donald, Ellen and Eugene are as honest and upright as they are accomplished.
Better to have cultured parents than uncultured parents.
And anyway, you shouldn't grudge the fact that Tony Chee Mar cut off your pigtail the moment you landed in San Francisco on the Thanksgiving day of 1949.
Nor should you grudge Tony Chee Mar for refusing to shave a straight line along your head.
Tony Chee Mar was a thoughtful father. He didn't want you to be ridiculed and heckled by your school mates in the new country.