I celebrated my father’s birthday on 21st April in a low key manner but in a way I hope he would have approved. My father and I spent our last proper holiday together in Dubai with my nephew so I decided to celebrate this day in Dubai which is where I write this. I still have to think slightly ahead when these special days are on the horizon so I have a degree of control so this was something I had planned a while back. Right until I started packing which was on the morning of my travel I wasn’t really in the mood for the holiday but was going through the motions in the hope that going away means I will be away from the memories.
I arrived in Dubai on the morning of my father’s birthday. I went to the beach walked on the sand looked up and said a little thank you to him for being with me. I enjoyed a cup of Yorkshire tea to recover from my journey and an excessively indulgent carrot cake to celebrate my Dad’s 101st birthday. Very low key compared the past. I could not emulate what I did last year which was the London Marathon but this was quite fine too.
Later on I went to an ashram in Dubai for a meditation session. So the birthday was over…Two days on I think I received a sign from my Dad. This evening sat in an Italian restaurant where the lighting was quite dim I saw a couple on the opposite table sitting about 15 feet away. The side profile of the gentleman was so much like my Dad’s and the mannerisms, the smile, the gestures gosh my heart sank. I thought he looks just like my father (the dim light was helpful!) and it was surreal. I could feel my eyes filling up and thought this is not a place where you want to be misty eyed. I looked down to steady myself I asked the girl who came to serve me if the couple spoke any English she said a bit. I waited a while then got up and walked over to them. I told them. The gentleman up close was much younger than my Dad but honestly the side profile had an uncanny resemblance. He was lovely and very understanding. I showed a picture of my father when was about 85 this guy must be around 60, both he and his wife agreed that there was some resemblance. We had a brief chat about our holidays they were from Sweden on a flying visit like me. We parted with a smile and a story connecting us.
This has never happened to me before where I have seen someone and thought he looks like my Dad. Why now and why here? I don’t have the answers but I do believe there is a lot more I do not see or even understand.
As time goes by I’ve noticed I think and see a younger version of my father even in my dreams so when I saw this chap he reminded me of how full of life my Dad was when he was around 90. In fact my Dad was in his late 80’s when we travelled together to Egypt. It is a long story but my father and I cut our journey to Egypt short and almost ran free like two escapees from a group of much younger folk acting cautiously!
Oddly, just before this incident I had exchanged a message with my grand nephew, Dishant whose in Canada. We were exchanging details of the books we were reading and recommending to each other. I told Dishant he may want to read Paulo Choelo’s book, The Alchemist. In that book the author talks how every single detail of our life is mapped out as though it is neatly designed to the most minute of details. A chance meeting is not really a coincidence. What is the significance of this I don’t know but I know this much. My father is still watching over me:)
Happy birthday Paa. I love you.
Peace be with you.
23rd April 2019.