65: Thump Thump

I'm sure this sounds odd, but among my most precious memories, a collection that contains the birth of my children, passing the bogu test in kendo, a perfect sail, etc. is chewing out my Chinese father Er Yang. The reason it's so special is because our relationship has stayed strong. It is rare that I have an experience so miserable at the expense at someone else that I actually feel the need to confront them about it. In pretty much every other case, the other person has gotten defensive, presented their own list of grievances against me and that signals the death knell of the relationship in one way or another. Even one of my own sisters, after getting angry at her for not calling me or answering my calls for six months reacted to my confrontation by never talking to me again. However, Er Yang, my shifu from China, a father figure in my life, truly family listened to my tirade with sympathy. He had come to the US and instead of visiting me gone on some martial arts group tour. They were supposed to be in New York on a specific day and I went to great lengths to arrange to be there to see him with my very young son. In the end, he fell out of contact several days before the render-vous and wasn't back in touch until a day after we were supposed to meet. I was furious. I used every strong word of Mandarin I know, I reamed out his jerk of a tour guide, who was the reason he wasn't there and wasn't in contact. I can't remember when I've ever expressed my anger so strongly. And Er Yang listened and apologized and we've moved passed it and have the same relationship we ever have. To me this is a real sign of love and the strength of a bond, to let the other person express their emotions freely, acknowledge them and move on.