from Grandmaster's son, Mike DeMaria, 7/7/07
My entire life has been molded based on your
teachings, advice and guidance. Through the rough and the tough, things
always manage because you and Mom were there, and I will never forget
it, despite how stubborn I might be at some points. That's a son's job,
after all...give you a hard time!
If I think about this from the beginning, the memories are endless.
You've changed my diapers when I was a baby and you let me jump on your
bed with my toys. You made home videos of every single event, from
Christmas to birthdays to communions and graduations. You took me to
work with you so I can see my 1st grade artwork hanging on your wall,
and you even let me train in the adult Shao-lin classes when I was just
6 years old. You've shown your happiness for my successes, and you've
lifted me up from my failures.
You've held my hand on my first roller
coaster, and I can never forget our amazing summer trips to Action Park.
From the action rides at Universal Studios to the chocolate tour at
Hershey Park, I've had some of my best times with you at my side.
You've even taken the daring challenge of teaching me how to drive every
morning on the way to Chinese School.
Even today, at 22 years old, you
still bring out that fatherly love as if I was 5 years old. You cook
the delicious morning eggs that we eat, and of course one of our
favorite dishes...spaghetti with white clam sauce for dinner!
Unlike many people out there, I've had the fortunate experience of
knowing you from all angles. I've grown up around your passion of the
Martial Arts, and therefore it has become my life through you, so much
so that even your Master levels such as Maser Peck have been like uncles
to me through the years. I'm so proud to admit my automatic bond with
the arts, all because of you.
I remember you teaching Matt and me the
double sticks in the front yard, and even using us as test dummies for
certain techniques. I remember filming you and the other teacher levels
performing forms at the previous schools. I even remember you smacking
me in the back of head when I couldn't do a jump kick against the
punching bag as a kid during class. I remember attending every single
event at your side, and even others when you weren't there where I had
the chance to represent your name. Funny how things stick, right?
I cherish every moment, even the bad ones. I can never stress how proud I
am of you and all your accomplishments. It would be safe to say that
your background and continuous efforts in the arts will never be
anything less than legendary!
As I write this, I can't help to think about the million other memories
that are going on in my head, but I choose not to write it for two
reasons. One being that this is getting too long, and I'm sure you're
getting bored of reading it, and two being that I'd rather keep the rest
of my memories to myself.
All I want to say now is that we have many
more years to come. They will be filled with happiness and challenges,
but we will share them all together. As you know, many things are bound
to happen soon, especially with my future, and I just hope that through
it all, I can make you proud. Throughout my life, I've heard you
referred to as Sifu and Grandmaster...but I have to honor and the
privilege to call you Dad.
Happy Birthday Dad! I look forward to experiencing many more with you.
I am very proud of you, and love you very much!