Yes, I understand that with his ailment, this was the best way for him to go – with no more emotional, mental or physical pain… However, he was my father, my dad, my papa – and will continue to be so… till I remain on this planet. For all of his friend’s and colleagues, I will always remain his daughter, for all his family, I will always remain his child. Till my forever…
Getting back home felt really good. I was back in my haven – with my children, my husband, my cat. I was in my own surroundings, my home, my heaven. I was relieved. I was happy it was all over. I knew he was out of his emotional, mental and physical misery. I had lost my father 12 years ago anyway. When my mum had passed away. She was suffering from cancer; her suffering didn’t last long. Within two years of cancer detection she was gone! The reasons were many – and yet none that I wish to share at the moment.
With her, I had lost my dad, too. The smile that lit up his eyes now remained confined to his lips. The eyes that sparkled with life had gone hollow and dead. The full-throated laughter that filled the room, was now a weak laugh. That zest to live life was totally out of action. The independence of body, mind and soul was replaced with complete dependence on strangers who could take advantage of him, those who otherwise, he would never turn to! The man I looked up to was beginning to disappear. His strength was replaced by the fear of the future – a future without his wife – the woman, who I would say, had added a true meaning to his life.
His emotional and mental weakness soon spread into a physical ailment as well – and had finally consumed him. In my mind, the strong man who I had grown up with, doted upon and admired as my hero left 12 years ago. His mere reflection followed recently.
Our equation was always one of love, trust and mutual respect. But his fears had impacted even that. Though, I believe, at the core, nothing much had changed.
Slowly, the reality of losing papa had started to set in. I would find myself in tears while walking down the street. There was no reason to cry. Just a sudden tear trickle out of the blue would come to me as a total surprise. And then, I’d catch myself saying, “It’s real. He is no more. Gone forever!” A bitter pill to swallow – but a real and physical gulp would help me digest this fact – for the moment at least.
I continued to swing on this emotional seesaw with its practical and emotional sides, but I knew I had to focus on my present.
I’d been away for just 15 days, but when I saw the amount of catching up to do (kids, my classes, home, guests, formalities, work, admin work) I realised just how fast 15 days of life had flown by – so much had happened. So much – that one does not even notice on a day-to-day basis.
That’s when it struck me – this is what life is all about. This is what living is! Live in the moment… for it is this moment, which will turn into a memory before you blink your eye. A happy or an unhappy one – that is for you to choose.
It is this moment, which you will recollect in your golden years. The moments of today will make the memories of a not-so-distant tomorrow; and the lines on your face, which you call wrinkles will be defined by whether you chose to make your moment’s with laughter lines or worry furrows.
Living brings in its wake a plethora of emotions. Life experiences as we might want to practically describe them as. But, life is too special to waste on trivialities.
With 15 days of catching up, I realised how full my life was – and yet, until this moment I hadn’t thought of how blessed I was to wake up each day and take It all in my stride.
I’m now aligning myself into my ‘now’ – and adding a little more ‘living’ to life. Neither am I rushing nor stalling this process… I am just ‘being’.
I realise today how important family and friends are – how you and so many others have stood by me, supported and understood me. My real friends are clearly more visible to me now… Relatives who have made a world of a difference have come to the fore. Relationships are being rekindled. A reality check is automatically taking place.
There’s just so much happening within… But its all good I assure you.
And to my dear papa, I’d like to say, “You are now free of all bonds, pain, misunderstandings, troubles, worries, fears, guilt… Of all negative connected to the human form. You’re now untouched and unfazed by human judgment. I wish you could have ‘lived’ life a little more – and a little more freely and lightly as my mother did… But we’re humans. And we are all unique in our own special ways. So go for that promised world-trip with mama by your side… It’s never too late! Enjoy the ‘other side’! I love you, and I always will… Thank you for being my father in this birth.