35 long years

Thirty five years ago today my father left his body and seemed to leave us behind. It was a very sad day for me. I was 18 and I had lost my guide, hero and best friend. It took me a while to acknowledge that because the first thought was not about my loss - it was more about relief. I write it right. I was relieved that I would no longer have to worry about my dearest father dying. His dying had been my worst nightmare for many years before the actual event. I am not sure now what I was really afraid of - if it was what the future would hold without him or if it was the moment of his passing. I still cannot put my finger on it but it did not take long for the fear to be overpowered by the grief. Thankfully though, the grief did not last too long as it was soon replaced by all the wonderful memories of some great little moments that I had the good fortune of having with my dearest Dad for the last ten years of his time with us.

Today I recognize that Dad left his body but has been with us all through these years and will continue to be with us for as long as we are and then some. The mark he left on my life has carried me through just as much as the mark left by my mother, my late sister, my brother, my spiritual teacher, my husband, my children, the rest of my family, friends and those who I have had the privilege of ever associating with. Each soul has touched mine and made an impact that has either taught me something, given me something, or added to my growth. The first person who I must acknowledge for all I do is definitely my dearest father. He was a simple man with a lot of depth. He did whatever he undertook with so much love and care that the result just had to be appreciated no matter what it appeared to be. I remember Dad making a large pot of guava jelly once and I am not quite sure what happened but instead of the clear jelly that should have been the final product it turned out to be murky. I felt so sad. He had put so much effort and care into the entire process. I refused to eat anything over my toast till that jelly was done a few weeks later! I do not remember the taste but I do remember Dad beaming every time he saw me eating the jelly. That was all that mattered to me.

Dad taught me that it was okay to be indifferent but never to be unkind. He had had a challenging childhood with a wicked step mother but never once did I hear him curse or be rude to or about her. He simply refused to talk about her with us. Clearly it was a very painful subject for him. Instead he talked to me about the love he was showered with by the rest of his extended family and his beloved cousins became family. They loved him just as much as he loved them and to this date I am so glad that they made up for all the pain that he had ever suffered.

My father was by no means a perfect man but he expressed his perfect soul through his kindness, love, assertiveness, disciplined life style, morality, honesty and integrity. He is my hero and will always be that. He is my best friend and nothing can ever change that. He is my guide and even today I judge a lot of what I do based on how Dad would have judged my actions. He has never ever let me down and am certain he is proud of his little girl.

I love you Baba and always will. The beautiful memories you have made for me keep me smiling. Thank you for being you and for being my wonderful Baba.

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