Do you ever feel wow, isn’t that amazing, then you continue with life forgetting that magical moment? I do, but today I want to capture those moments and share these with you through the medium of this blog.
If you have read some of my blogs, you will know my journey of writing started following the death of my dad when I found myself pouring my heart out to work through my broken heart. You see my dad and me are very close. Note the use of the word are as opposed to ‘were’ very close. Dad passed away from the physical world, but I am living proof of his existence. I see constant reminders of him, and I am glad that even after almost 8 years we are still together.
On a Sunday morning I take us, my German Shepherd puppy, Oscar and I to the Yorkshire German Shepherd training centre for obedience classes. It was bitter cold this morning and someone there said they had read on their face book page that my father brought our first dog, Asha, to the same centre in 1968. This story came about while I was talking to my sister who told me she went with Dad to the same training centre. I was amazed as I was unaware of this synchronicity. I relayed this story to the centre as I thought it would be a good reminder to their army of dog trainers who, incidentally, are all volunteers, coming out in all weathers to help novice dog owners like me to create a beautiful bond with their German Shepherd. This news then got put on their face book page and as I heard the gentleman tell me this morning about how reading this story made him happy I thought blimey, my father is everywhere I go, and I seem to have come full circle. I am doing what he did, and he and I had never talked about this at all. His eagerness to learn and do better is something I seem to have inherited; I am grateful for that gene.
So, as I left the training class I found myself walking out for the first time with new found confidence, the lead was slack and Oscar, my gorgeous puppy who looks like a grown up dog now, seemed relaxed too. Whereas when we walked to the class, I was desperately trying hard to hold on to him as he was excited seeing other dogs around him. If you can imagine, a dog pulling it’s ‘handler’ it was like that! My tense energy went through the lead to Oscar and in return those few yards were like a massive challenge. In the class the trainer patiently emphasised that my role as the handler was to make the dog see me as his fun buddy, someone he wants to be with. Using my voice and gestures my dog understands what I need of him. I remember growing up my father was teaching me the art of public speaking and he once said the speaker has to be very animated, relaxed and engaging to hold the attention of his audience, basically he or she must be an actor, in the art of communication and engagement. Yep, same method with my dog, I have to be wildly animated to grab his attention and to make our being together super fun for us both. Time and again I find the connection between the many life lessons my father gave me and the way he led his life coincide with the way I live my life. It is amazing and it is synchronicity in motion, or life going in full circle and my father walking by my side as I navigate life now. Wow.
Yesterday, I received my long-awaited London Marathon medal, I did the run on 3rd October but there was a delay in the post in the medal coming home. I shared a picture of the medal with my supporters, and one asked how many marathons I had under my belt, I replied 5. The running came about because I needed some focus after losing dad, I had never dreamt nor was it in my wildest imagination that I was capable of running let alone achieving 5 marathon medals. Again, this is connected to my dad and me. Another wow!
The day before yesterday, I had the pleasure of having afternoon tea with the Lord Mayor of Leeds, courtesy of my marvellous friend Val who was being honoured for her contribution to our great city of Leeds, in her role as CEO of Carers Leeds where I am Trustee. Sat in the beautiful surroundings of the Civic Hall, the Lord Mayor asked if I had been to the Civic Hall before, I replied yes, a few times, but my most memorable time was when my father, in his capacity as President of the Hindu Temple held a reception for the Indian High Commissioner and my dad insisted I wore a sari as it was after all a lavish gathering, I found myself running down the stairs struggling in the sari, to get an autograph from Sir Keith Joseph, the then Education Minster and Sir Denis Healy, who was in the shadow cabinet. Both were eminent politicians, and like my dad I am interested in politics. The Lord Mayor said, wow, and asked if I was proud of my dad, of course, I said yes. Beautiful how this conversation came about while I was privileged to attend an intimate gathering and presentation to honour my friend who received the Leeds Award. Her name is on the hall of fame in Leeds Civic Hall. And another wow for me.
Last night I dreamt I was introducing my family to a friend, the final person I introduced was my mother. I told my friend we were getting to know each other! Those who know me know I don’t talk about having a mother because, she left my life when I was five years old and it was my father who played the role of mum, dad and much more. By even referring to this dream and the lady who gave birth to me, I realise perhaps I am mellowing with age and or, there is an emotional shift. As I wait for judgement day with me being in the queue and ready to go after dad, I feel a need to mend fences and build bridges so that when I take leave of this bodily world I do so with maximum peace. I cannot rationalise why she came in my dream or why I vividly remember this dream encounter, but I sense a desire to forgive and be kinder. Wow, that I am even mentioning this here.
As I approach December and Christmas, my heart knows it is 8 years since my dad died, but I have survived, and he is still a huge part of my being, it does not feel like we have been apart for 8 years, oh no, he is in me driving me to find the will to live with a sense of purpose and perhaps some joy. This anniversary I am not facing it alone, my lovely dog, Oscar is with me. He is so perfect I look at him and think surely, he is a gift from God and most definitely, my father had a hand in Oscar coming home to me. This four-legged friend of mine with whom there is communication without words, is here to help my heart heal. The culmination of 8 years of walking through what was the valley of grief to what is now, the mountain of hope is my emotional shift. I say thanks to my many supporters, friends and family, who have encouraged me along the way as I ‘walked’.
So, I will end with the words I started with in this post…Do you ever feel wow, isn’t that amazing, and now I want to hang on to these many wow moments to help me till the end of my days. I am truly thankful to God and his universe for giving me this experience.
If anything here resonates with you or you feel lost, I survived and found some of me and so will you my friend, life teaches us and we just need to open and trust that all will work out somehow. There will be many wow moments and people in your life also. Wrap these memories in a beautiful cloth and put them in the corner of your heart. When life feels trying feel these treasures and you will find the strength you need to keep moving forward.
Peace be with you.
21st November 2021