Saturday, June 15, 2013
an eulogy to dad
Celebrate father’s day, teacher’s day, birthday, valentine’s day…this day that day while you can. Say sorry, thank you and I love you. Because sometimes like with me here you won’t get another chance. Tomorrow is the final rites of my father. You know, I often forgot father’s day but never ever will I be able to forget it again. But then there is not point of remembering it anymore. Is there?
How many times do you hear people preaching “say sorry” “say thank you” say “I love you.”
What did you do?
Well I will tell you what did I do?
“Bloody sentimental Bullshit.” That’s what I always said. “If is you love someone people should know it on their own. People know when you are sorry. And thank you? We don’t say thank you to friends and family. It is like stating the obvious. God!”
Well, my father was like most father’s in this world. He tried his level best to give me the best.
Well, I am like most of us children in the world. A selfish idiot who took all I got and as if my selfishness was not enough I was a fierce rebel out to change the world. And like it or not most of us rebels begin their training by sharpening their nails at home against their fathers!
So, Me and my father’s relationship was very standard: I and he never agreed on anything. We fought like cats and dogs. Of course there were peaceful times when we made fun of everyone and everything. I got my sarcasm, my sense of humor and my fighting spirit from him. People used to say I look like him and that ‘it is lucky for a daughter to look like her father.’ Maybe.
I have grown up from an infant to a child to a girl into a woman….but he remained a dad.
And then…..Tomorrow is his last rites.
My first memory of him is: him trying to put me into school. I was five years old.
He took me to school on the pretext of taking me to zoo. Once I saw the teacher I held to his belt with all my strength. During those days my grip couldn’t reach his throat! So I held his belt with my life. The teacher tugged at my other hand.
“I don’t want to go.” I cried.
“You have to. Everyone goes to school. You are not alone. There are so many like you…see..” he showed me other students.
“Do you want to become big like me or stay like small this?” he demanded.
I wanted to become big. Big like him.
“So you have to go to school. They have play time too.”
I was not sure.
“I will get you the doll house you want.”
I was doubtful.
“I want a gun.” I said.
“Fine.” He agreed. “if you sit here for four hours without crying sobbing…like a happy child….you will get whatever you want. ”
I was still not sure.
“Fine I will sit with you.” He assured me.
The teacher who was watching this barter butted in and said “you cannot sit with her in class.”
“I will sit outside the school. Just for today let her sit at the window so she can see me from class?” he whispered to her, eyes pleading.
“I will sit right in front of the gate. There…” he pointed out a rock. “You can see me from the window.”
I went into the class .
After about half an hour of class I peeped out of the window to see if he was there. He was not.
That evening he explained himself, “I have a job, but sweaty I will always be there to get you as far as you need to go…but beyond that you will have to walk for yourself.”
He was always like that.
When I came home crying he would say, “man up.”
When I came back losing a tussle he would say, “fight back.”
Man up and fight back the two phrases that I learned from him I used against him.
Every time he told me not to do something or do something his way, I manned up and fought back as fiercely as if he was my enemy. In fact he was the only enemy I had…the only one who tried to reason with me and everyone else? Everyone else was my friend!
It will always pinch me that I never got a chance to say sorry for all the times I thought him to by enemy or say thank you for the great times we had together.
But I am indebted to God that on the last day before the doctors put him on the ventilator, before he went into a comma, I , just out of the blue and for the first time in my grown up utterly fucked up life, kissed his cheek and then in my no bullshit manner I said, “ we worry about you. You know? So be a good boy and get well soon. I will just have my bath and come back in half an hour.”
I was feeding him his lunch. His mouth was full so he just nodded. Today I hope that kiss on his cheek told him what I didn’t say.
I went home for a bath and then got the call. He had a cardiac arrest and was put on a ventilator.
After six hours he expired.
I did cry and say sorry, thank you and love you after he died. But I doubt it means a thing.
And then father’s day? That will begin to mean an entirely different thing after his funeral rites tomorrow.