Why does my father always get the head and fish bones!? Now I understand the reason

When I was young, I didn't understand why my father always wanted to eat the head and bones of the fish, so I would always give him my portion. It wasn't until I grew up, started a family, and had children of my own that I finally understood the old man. Only then did I try once, to claim the fish head for myself...

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A Father’s Lie

My parents got married when they were old. At that time, our family was poor. My mother passed away early, so my father struggled to raise the three of us on his own. We lived near the river, but my father was weak and rarely caught any fish for us to eat. Having a meal with fish was already a luxury for us. I still remember, every time we ate fish, my father would say, “Let me have the head and bones.”

I quickly asked, “Why, father?”

My father spoke with a serious expression, as if teaching a lesson, “Because I’m old, and I often have headaches. Eating the head will help alleviate the pain – it’s good for the brain. And if you eat the bones, they will make you stronger. Don’t you understand?”

With a childish heart, I and my two siblings believed that our father was telling the truth. Every meal, I would quickly separate the head and bones and give them to my father. We competed for the meat portion.

There were times when I also hesitated. But my father would say, “When I was young, my grandparents always let me eat meat. Now, just looking at the meat makes me feel nauseous. When you grow up, you will become like me.”

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Years went by, my siblings and I grew up, and my father aged. Later, when I gained more knowledge, I realized that those words my father said were lies. However, our family’s living conditions gradually improved. My siblings and I could go fishing, crab hunting, and release fish in the river.

Perhaps my father occasionally ate fish, but he didn’t remember it anymore. Whether it was because of the youth’s carefree nature and not thinking much about love, or because my father tried to make the “lie” more acceptable to us, I don’t remember.

Until today, when I have become successful, with a beautiful wife and obedient children, our busy and limitless life, I never longed for the head or the bones of a fish. My wife would only prepare the meat for our meals.

Today is the 10th anniversary of my father’s death. Looking at his thin image in the photos, but with a bright smile. Looking at the large fried fish, shimmering with fat, placed on the ancestral altar by my wife, tears suddenly fell. A pain emerged and overwhelmed my heart.

I had to turn my face away to wipe away the tears, to hide it from my wife and children, but I couldn’t erase the image of my old, stooped father walking by the river, “going to release fish during the flood season.”

Then came the fierce battles that tormented him. I couldn’t erase the thought of “if he had eaten more meat, he wouldn’t have grown weak like this.” While praying, I involuntarily called out “father” from my throat.

When it was time to sit at the dining table and I saw my wife cutting meat from the fish and discarding the head and bones, I held my wife’s hand and said, “Honey, let me have the head, don’t throw it away.”

Understanding, my wife handed me the fish head. Only our young daughter became puzzled and asked, “Why is daddy eating the head today? There are many bones, they will hurt daddy.”

I gently stroked my daughter’s head, swallowing the lump in my throat, and said, “Daddy has been having frequent headaches lately, so eating the head will make the pain go away, my dear. This is called eating the head to nourish the head, do you understand?”

I ate while trying to hold back the tears from falling into the bowl. Now, I finally understood…

Unspoken Love

My father seemed to not know how to express his love. Our family lived happily and comfortably, all thanks to my mother. Every day, my father went to work early in the morning and came home in the evening. However, after hearing my mother tell us about the wrongdoings we had committed during the day, my father would scold us relentlessly.

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Once, I stole a candy from a small shop at the end of the street. My father found out and made me return it. Not only that, but he also made me go clean the store as a way to make up for my mistake. At that time, only my mother understood because after all, I was just a child.

I accidentally broke my leg while playing soccer. On the way to the hospital, it was my mother who held me in her arms. My father parked the car in front of the emergency room, but the security guard asked him to move it to another place because that spot was only for ambulance parking. After hearing that, my father got angry and exclaimed, “Do you think our car is a luxury car, like a tourist car?”

During my birthday parties, my father never acted like a father who enjoyed himself with me. He was busy blowing up balloons, setting up the table, or doing other miscellaneous tasks. Lighting the candles and bringing the cake to me to blow on was always done by my mother.

When looking through photo albums, my friends would often ask, “Where is your father?” Only God could understand because my father was always the one behind the camera. My mother and I always had bright smiles in countless photos.

I remember one time when my mother asked my father to teach me how to ride a bike. I asked my father not to hold the bike for me, but he said it was time for him to stop supporting me. And so, my father let go. I fell to the ground, and my mother hurried over to help me up, while my father extended his hand, signaling my mother to step aside. At that moment, I was angry and determined to show my father that I didn’t need his help. Thinking that way, I immediately tried to get back on the bike and ride alone to impress my father. Then, my father just stood there with a smile.

When I entered university, all the letters were written by my mother. My father only sent money for me to study and a short letter in four years, with its content consisting of a few lines about how I had left home to study far away, and there was no longer anyone to play soccer on the grass in front of our house, causing the grass to grow better on my father’s football field.

Every time I called home, my father seemed eager to chat with me, but in the end, he would say, “Call your mother back!”

And then, I got married, and my mother still cried. My father only wiped his nose a few times and immediately left the room.

From childhood to adulthood, my father only asked me questions like: Where are you going? What time will you be back? Is the car full of gas? No, you can’t go…

My father didn’t know how to express his love. Unless… Could it be that my father had expressed so much love, but I unintentionally couldn’t feel that boundless affection?

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