27 September and 18 July; the most dreaded days of the year, for me at least. The former being the day I lost my father 6 years ago, and the latter being his birthday. My dad was my hero, albeit never having the chance to tell him this in person, he was and always will be the bravest man I know.
On this wonderful day, my daddy would have been 69 years old. That’s pretty damn old, but my main man was the coolest. So here are some wonderful things about my father, the only man who has ever made me cry, and things I have learned from losing him.
- Spending time with your kids, and I don’t mean just sit with them and use your smartphones as a family, I mean talk to them, tell them about your childhood, educate them. Don’t just take bloody pictures and post them online, every moment you spend with them is crucial in shaping them to become the individuals they are.
- Love doesn’t always have to be expressed in words, because words/sentences are easy to construct, gestures and actions are more sincere. So even though my daddy never explicitly said “I love you”, he’s always showered me with affection, through his actions.
- Always give to others, no matter how little you have. This is something both my parents have always emphasized on, and I have learned and embodied through their example. My dad never hesitated to help, and although most patrons are ungrateful the fact that he never expected anything in return helped him lead a happy life.
- I am my father’s child from his second marriage, and although I am not his oldest/only kid, I know I make him the proudest. And also I am so grateful for the option to divorce, because his divorce was the reason I could get to know him and aspire to be like him.
- Daddy went to London to get his diploma!!!!!!!! Ya my father clearly paved the way hahah but going to London wasn’t cos I wanted to be as cool as him but a choice I made not realizing he went there. Best decision of my life, period.
- He’s been to most places, tried all sorts of awful sounding animals and basically lived his life. I remember finding and Agal and Keffiyah- traditional male headgear worn by Middle Eastern men in one of his suitcases. How cool is that, my dad was probably as intrigued by the Middle East, as I am now!!!
- Family is important, no matter how awful they are; forgive, forget and move on with life.
- Special appreciation for music from the 60s and 70s because we listened to a lot of it on our frequent car rides.
- I have learned that if you want to achieve something as desperately as you want to breathe, nothing can put you down. You fall 7 times, you get up 8. Don’t stop till you get what you deserve. Main man was diagnosed with lung failure when I was 3 and was given few years to live then he successfully underwent the first lung transplant in Singapore when I was, and once again the docs put a time stamp on his life span; it was 6 years. He outlived that and spent 9 fanfuckingtastic years with me!!!!!! Best gift from the higherpowers, no doubt.
- Another sad realization….. when my dad left, he took a hug part of me. My childhood is filled with memories of him, taking care of me, reading to me, bringing me on long drives, telling me about his childhood, spoiling me, and no damn excuses even though he was in constant pain. I have been looking for people to latch on to fill this void, but there is no solution to the emptiness I feel when all I see is your picture on the wall.
- Although I sort of already mentioned this, I think it’s really important for parents to spend time with your kids. Eg my dad used to sit with me to watch Veronica Mars when it aired on channel 5, okay not only was he making sure I wasn’t watching anything inappropriate he did all he could to stay relevant, to be a part of anything that I enjoyed. Also, he brought me to watch the lizzie mcguire movie when it came out, hahah can’t believe he sat through all the sappy teenage bullsh!t for me, never once complained either.
- Another sad thing. My dad spent most of his later years in a lot of pain. He made frequent visits to SGH, somewhere I spent most of my childhood too, and on each visit he had to take a blood test, it was awful to always have your veins poked into, and to have to be on so many different types of medicines. These pills had the power to keep him alive, and there was so many of them, we had our own pharmacy at home. He also had to sleep with an oxygen mask, every time he exhaled there was a sound, very noisy but the most comforting sound; I knew he was breathing every time it was on and that was good enough.
- Never give up. No matter how weak my dad was he put in his own time and effort and started his own business, although we were denied the fruits of his labour, his determination, ambition and desire to make the most of the time he was left with made a huge impression on me.
- This is probably the saddest thing I learned, it took me 5 years to realise there was no way I could reverse this. You see, when I was 14 I didn’t know he was dying. No one told me. I wished they did. Because I wouldn’t have acted like a brat, I would have acted like a grown up, and told my dad how I really felt and that is “I can’t live without you” and I can’t. There are so many days where I just want to end it all so that I can see you again and tell you how my day has been, tell you about my adventures. This is a bad nightmare, one that I could do without.
Although you may not be around anymore, you live within me daddy. One day I will see you again, and I can’t wait. You were my bestfriend before I knew the significance of the word, and I hope to always be the best possible version of myself. I forgive you for giving up the fight, I know you were tired, I understand that now. Thank you for holding on for so long. My heart is still as heavy today as it was the day you left, but I’m a bit wiser now, a lot stronger too. See you when I see you x
Your Kannukutty and darlingma,
Always and forever