Growing up with my dad by my side was nothing less than wonderful. He was my best friend, the first man I loved and my hero. I believed my dad had the solution to everything under the sky and that never changed even after I became an adult. He was my problem fixer, my consoler, and my adviser. But one day, I heard he was no more.
I was so unprepared that it felt like somebody had dropped a heavy stone on my delicate heart. I didn’t know how to react. Tears poured down my eyes and I felt as if my heart could burst into a million pieces. “Why is life so unfair?” I asked myself. The man I loved and trusted the most would no longer be around.
I tried to move on by accepting the reality of life. But, I couldn’t. How much ever I tried, I knew life was never going to be the same, for me and my mother. She was just as lonely as I was. While my mother spent days sitting in her room and looking at his photographs, I tried to put up a brave face like my dad would. But honestly, it didn’t work. Every time, I saw something that was barely related to my father, my mind drifted away into my childhood days.
I would think of the times he played and read my favorite books to me. The times, he yelled at me for sneaking out at night. I cherished the days when he called me up at work to crack one of his new jokes. They were all so fresh in my mind. Though I tried to hide my pain, I often cried in the dark corners of my parents’ home, where no one could see me. The photograph of me and dad on my wedding day hung by the living room wall. It had always made me smile but that day it just ripped my heart apart. But I knew, I had to be brave for my aging mother.
I stayed with my mum for a few days, sleeping in the room where I grew up from a tiny girl into the woman I am today. I was exhausted and sad, but I forced myself out of bed every day just to make things look normal. I tried to make my mother laugh with my silly jokes just like my dad would when she had a bad day. I knew my dad would want me to rise above my emotions and be a stronger person. Yes, I did exactly that. But nothing stopped me from periodically bursting out in tears away from my mother’s sight.
A year has passed and I am in the process of healing. I still miss my dad but I am calmer than before. The memories of my dad make me smile and I joyfully cherish every day I spent with him. My dad made me a tough woman and shaped my character. He is always my hero and his tales are always on my lips. I know he is listening to me and mamma talk about him. I know he is still around to catch me before I fall.
Pa, you will always be alive in my heart and there is no man I love that is greater than you are.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are a culmination of multiple experiences shared with the author.