Dear Dado

The sun is shining and the sight of a new pink rose on a rose plant that I bought last year which almost withered away, until I moved it to a different spot in the garden, lifted my heart. Pink is my new favourite colour. Seeing the rose made me realise that it is possible to re-emerge if given the chance, all is not lost. Hope is what gives humanity the impetus to keep going in trying times like now.

This morning as I washed my face with warm water, a thought came into my head, first time. I felt as though I touched your face, that’s powerful, right? I used to wash your face in the last months. I thought, well, it is not surprising I felt your face as you are in me. I did not feel my face but I felt your face, amazing but then you live in me. Love like ours can never be separated.  It was a strange but pleasant feeling the effect of which was to re-energise me, as though the power had come through the supply and I felt I am glad I am alive here to be carrying on as your daughter, your legacy..

This renewed sense made me think today I want to make this day count as if it is my last day. I want to do things that give me joy and not worry about the chores I must do or should do. Not worry about the past because I can’t change the past, I can’t undo the wrong or even the mistakes I made or words I said which were hurtful. What I can do is to be mindful not to cause further hurt to myself or others.

Dado, you have left an indelible mark on my soul.  Mostly, it’s a beautiful scar I’m deeply proud of, sometimes it’s like a weeping willow. I adjust with life when things become unbearable, rather than fighting it. Sometimes, my soul leaks and tears fall.  Though rare nowadays, it is also a reminder that I am missing your presence in my physical world. I have gone from this child yearning to hold her father’s hand to this adult who accepts, the natural order of things which is that you had to go before I went meaning I have to experience life without you.

You had big hands and long fingers. When I see my hand I am pleased I too have your hands.  You won’t know but just before you left this world, I took a photograph of my hand entwined/ interlocked in your hand. I remember when I took the photograph I was sat by your bedside with a heavy heart thinking what if this is the last time I am holding your hand? what if, this is the end of my world with you? It was heart breaking. I have had the photograph on my phone for a long time, recently I shared it with my friend who is an artist as he kindly agreed to do the book cover for my book, now that is a story in itself Pappa which you know all about anyway:) as you are with me on this journey!

My friend not only did the cover he actually drew this image on a canvas and presented it to me in a beautiful frame. Never did I think in my wildest dreams that this image would be hand drawn by another hand, his drawing of the hands is so magnificent that it brings the image of my hand in yours to life in ways I am finding hard to describe in words. My vocabulary falls short if only I was a poet I would be able to say what it means to me.  This image, this painting has almost given me a renewed sense of life  to keep going. Since I cannot say what I feel, I will just say.. WOW.

This image by this friend is now hanging next to your handsome photograph in the front room. This is the only place where it can be.  Your hand touched my head when you wanted to say well done or when you wanted to say it will be alright. Your hand held mine when you needed some support from me getting up but mostly your hand supported me in so many ways.  Even when you had no physical strength, I drew strength from holding your hand, the touch of your soft large hands was like magical power that made me feel my world is alright.

The simple gesture of holding hands interlocked is my metaphor of strength. I know your strength is in me in all your love.  I may not be able to touch your hand anymore or have you hold mine but I know you are still there for me willing me on.  Giving myself permission to live is jolly hard even though it shouldn’t be but I am slowly turning a corner you will be pleased to hear.

It is hard to  put into words what love like ours has the power to do. I know you lived longer than your physical body was capable of because you wanted to be there for me as long as you could. Your going could have broken me to smithereens, well it almost did, I thought it did. It could have broken me so that I could never be put back together or it could as it has, given me the audacity to rise and find me, the strong and beautiful me.

You know Pops, I don’t recall ever during my teens or even in my 20’s thinking I was beautiful.  But I do now!.  I feel proud of how strong and brave I’ve been and how I have managed my world since your passing. I have taken risks, I have pushed myself and have done things which once were an impossible feat. The most important feat is getting to where I am and knowing that you are still with me in me.

The painting of the hands and not just any hands, yours and mine done by a kindly person’s hands is an unexpected gift and a timely one. The image evokes strength, love, passion, care, sensitivity and emotions of oneness beyond words. I wonder who engineered this, God or perhaps, you?

All said and done father, I am fine, I am on track and am moving forward with you very much in my heart. I am thankful to God for not giving up on me and thankful to the many kind souls who have walked into my life to remind me I am alive.  Our journey together has been a privilege. My soulful friend who did the painting has never met you in the physical realm but he has through me…

I love you Dado and always will be thankful that you are always there for me. God bless you Pops.



For those reading this if you happen to be on a journey of your own remember you are not alone there is a hidden energy that binds us all together and when you least expect it a gift comes your way to help you take the next step especially when you feel you haven’t got the wherewithal to keep going.

Peace be with you.