When I am at my best, I am my father’s daughter.
It’s rare I address you in a grown up way. Today you would have been 103 years old or should I say today is your 103rd birthday. The latter sounds much better.
I have said a lot about what you mean to me and this comes through in my book for the world to read but I need to say something directly to you. As if I haven’t said enough already, I hear you say! I not only miss you, my father but I miss you, my best friend, yes even after all this time. Time is a healer say some, yes, time helps to get to grips with the new reality of remembering those happy times and the vast sea of emptiness, and we adapt, but it does not mend or heal. I standby what I have said many times before those left behind get cleverer at hiding our ache. There is still this massive hole in my being yet I still appear to be whole. So yes, I still dance with your photograph in my hand and I still shed a tear or two when I miss you. I went through both these emotions this morning before I came to write this. My heart is busting with pride when I say I am your daughter and then there is this sadness which is hard to describe. It’s like walking with this invisible heavy sword.
There is a part of me that so wants to let go.. feeling like this and there is a part of me that can’t let go. I am strong but I still yearn to hold your hand and to cook your favourite food but I can’t anymore. Death is a fact of life, awful, so final and also so right in our case.
I could continue in this gully of feeling melancholy but I won’t as I don’t think it will please you or indeed help me, and it certainly will not help uplift those who read my blog. So putting on a brave face and being ultra positive as well as honest, I just want to say this to you.
My Dear Awesome Fatheram (if anybody wonders where this word comes from as it is not a proper English word, the ‘AM’ is my fusion of English and Sanskrit).
I love you Pops, and miss you like mad.
I want to…THANK YOU VERY MUCH..
Thank you for bringing out the best of me, the best I didn’t know I had.
Thank you for loving me without an agenda. You taught me the meaning of eternal and unreserved pure LOVE.
Thank you for believing in me and being my biggest supporter and critic. You were always there to pick up the pieces when I failed and you were the first to make me believe in me.
You were the first to applaud me in my tiny and not so tiny achievements. Your dreams for me were outlandish and it was your belief in me that made me so.
It is because of you that I am who I am today.
Thank you for opening my world to matters beyond my tiny mind.
Thank you for making me think and be bold like you.
Thank you for the strong foundation on which I now stand for I always felt I was on solid ground and I always felt secure in your presence.
Thank you for always having my back. You were always there to break my fall.
And now for something more specific and mundane but certain things that will bring a smile to your face.
Thank you for buying my first ever and most expensive watch on my 21st birthday, which you bought after I reminded you that it was my birthday!
Thank you for pushing me to complete my MBA dissertation when I was looking for ways to take a year out.
Thank you for driving me to the pharmacy on a weekend when I manage to burn my hand and for telling the chemist off for being too slow!
Thank you for rolling your sleeves up and for fighting for me when I got into trouble. You didn’t put up with any nonsense.
Thank you for always being respectful to me, you treated me as your equal even though I never can be.
Thank you for making me so proud of you. You are still the best father I could have ever hoped for.
Thank you for instilling the strong values I still hold dear and for showing me the difference between right and wrong.
Thank you for making me always think I can do whatever I want to do and for backing me in all my crazy schemes. Do you remember the one about the car?
Thank you for comforting me when I felt hopeless and was down on my knees. Your hand on my shoulders felt like the loving hand of God saying all is going to turn out just fine, and you were right.
Thank you for making me appreciate the power of words and thank you for making me appreciate my ‘father’ tongue.
Thank you for the opportunity to be bi-lingual and to appreciate the beauty of words in Gujarati and English literature.
Thank you for the life time subscriptions of the select Gujarati magazines which forces me to keep up with my native language.
Thank you for being so demanding and precise, I am glad I have inherited that gene from you!
Thank you for trying to teach me how to drive and then for paying for my many driving lessons when you ran out of patience and told me to get out of the car..
Thank you for telling the world my daughter is going to be a lawyer when I had no self belief and thought that could never be.
Thank you for being the first person I always shared my big news with. I still remember you looking up the Times Newspaper for my degree results. I also remember how happy you were when I rang you to say I had just been made a Partner in the firm.
Thank you for the memorable Kodak moments and your big smile on my convocation days.
Thank you for waiting by the front window waiting for me to come home. I can still see your eyes just looking and waiting for me. And I am now on my way home to you…
Thank you for just about everything good in my life my amazing Papa. You filled my world with abundance with absolutely nothing lacking at all.
Thank you for never letting me miss not having a mother as you successfully played both roles for me.
And lastly, thank you for making me realise I am the most fortunate person to have a father like you.
Love you Pops and I am wishing you a very happy 103rd birthday today. On your birthday I celebrate and thank God for the gift of you. You are my number one supporter and my teacher. I hope I can live up to your high standards and by the values you gave me. You’ll recognise this photograph of you with our German Shepherd, Asha..I look at this photograph and realise what a brave man you were. You ran your business, raised your children as a single parent, you were a leader in the community, and yet you still found time to give Asha a home for 14 years.
Tuse Great ho Pops! Jolly hard to emulate your achievements and how fortuitous that I can say you’re MY AMAZING FATHER.
I shall forever be in your debt.
21st April 2021