A memoir for a giant of a person
|I lost my mother when I was just 13 years old. I had just hit puberty and I remember how my father saved me from the awkwardness: ‘when you need anything, just write it on a note and I’ll get it for you.’
Since then, my father played the role of both parents.
Many of our relatives and friends encouraged my father to find someone else but he was too in love with mom so he never remarried, but the two of us had a blast.
He had a passion for photography so he taught me how to fall in love with the city through his eyes — our Sunday rituals were the best!
After I finished 12th grade, it was my father who pushed me to work and make something of myself. He was open minded and encouraged communication--he even knew about all my boyfriends. I’ll never forget one christmas, when he saved a beer for me in the fridge. He was the coolest dad.
But as life would have it, last November the tides turned. It started with frequent falls--it became normal for me to rush over to his place to check on him. His body used to be covered in bruises but he would just smile. After months of coaxing, I finally convinced him to get admitted to a hospital, but by then his condition was worse. He was having issues with his heart and spine--we were due for 3 surgeries.
He got a pacemaker installed and each surgery made him weaker but his spirit was untouchable.
Through the 55 days in the hospital, he was known as the most charming patient by all. He would make the doctors laugh and since most of his nurses were Malayali he would sing them songs in Malayalam. But the more mischief he was upto, the more I realised that the end may be near. Right before one of his surgeries, we finally had ‘the’ talk.
I was given strict instructions--there would be no drama and no elaborate funeral. He emphasised all the good times and I realise now that he stayed strong throughout for me. We knew it was the end, so he had nothing to gain from his high spirits, but he knew that if I saw him crumble, I would fall apart.
He was teaching me how to be alone. During his final days we laughed more than ever, and just before he lost consciousness he sang me a love song. 3 days later, he was gone.
I performed his last rites and while it was an honour to do it, I felt like a part of me left with him. I’ve kept his pacemaker safely, and although I’m holding on to it right now, at the right time I hope to donate it—he would have wanted that.
It’s been just over two weeks without him and honestly, I’m lost. My father is my everything--my best friend, my mentor and my mother, too. But he made me promise that I would live my life, and that his blessings would always be with me, so although my heart is broken, I’m trying to live a little more each day—for all three of us.
People go their whole lives searching for the love that I was given since birth — so I’m trying to remain positive. He’s gone physically, but he still lives in me. A few days ago, we had a tribute meeting for him in my colony, and it started raining out of nowhere. Everyone was so confused but I had a smile on my face. I’m certain it was dad, letting me know that he’s made it to heaven and is doing okay.”