Father and his Dim Sum

paper dim sum

 Father loved Dim Sum and his love for it was almost legendary among us. .Back in Hong Kong where we used to live we hardly ever went out to eat as a family because we were poor. Both of my parents worked and with family of six plus our grandmother there was little money left each month.. But I did remember the few times father took both my older sister and I out the rare treat to dim sum. Each time, as soon we sat down father would order the BBQ pork stream buns for us; we never got to try the ones we were eyeing like the shrimp dumplings or taro dumplings. .It would till I was adult to found out the reason because the stream buns were filling for little stomachs and we couldn’t eat more afterward so father didn’t have to spend much money on us.

After father retired he would go for dim sum at least three four times a week. No matter how bad the weather was, heavy rain or blowing snow he would took the bus for the half an hour ride to the nearest Chinese restaurant. Sometimes he returned covered in snow but in his hand he carried his newspaper and a small box of his beloved roasted pork.

Eventually when his Alzheimer reached its advance stage he couldn’t be out on his own and mother has no choice but went with him, their last dim sum outing end up in the hospital emergency department because he suffered a diabetic coma on the bus.

Just days before his funeral, I was wandering in Vancouver Chinatown and came across a store specializes in items for Chinese funeral. Outside there were displays of paper-made Dim Sum which I had never seen before! (.in Chinese funeral, family often brought realistic looking furniture, car, household items which all make with paper. .During the ceremony the items would be bourn as to offer to the decease for their after life use.)

I brought the paper dim sum carefully packed in my suitcase for the return trip to Toronto and after his service I burn the paper dim sum as an offering to him.

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