My Father

Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes.  Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation (Rumi).

I could not think of a better way to begin sharing than to pay tribute to the man who introduced me to life.  It was a year ago today that I lost one of the most important people in my life — my father.

I chose this quote from Rumi because although my heart is filled with love for him, my eyes, my ears, and my hands still long for him.  Not feeling the separation is going to be a work in progress for me.

I have reviewed the last days leading to January 4th of 2017, especially the potentially last few hours of my father’s life on this plane more than I can count — juxtaposing our experiences.

There are certain events that leave a clear delineation in your life — there is life before them and life after them.

These are the events that bring you to your knees.  You’re left with a burning desire, a pain that you can not undo.  In my case, a constant wish to hear my father’s voice, his laughter, an ache for one more conversation and another long warm hug.

You are left with the need to truly understand and feel the concepts that prior to this were more theoretical than literal, more observational than experiential.  To understand the permanence of loss, and the pain of the confluence of feelings that accompany it.  It’s beyond an intellectual understanding, and it is indeed a process.  Sometimes at a rate that you can handle, and sometimes strong enough to crush you.

My father is the reason why I love life, and I am adamant to live fully and fiercely.  I experienced how it would be to have a wise mentor from a very young age.  He would spend hours simplifying concepts to teach me important life lessons.  He was a mentor that would consistently show up with care to educate and share.

 

The lessons spanned a wide range, they included how to be pragmatic, develop critical thinking, break a complex problem down to smaller and simpler parts, dream big and not have “I can not” in my vocabulary, be persistent in life, be kind and generous, let go and forgive, be humble, appreciate true art, take initiative to connect with people and bring a smile to their faces.

The premise of it all and at the core it was on how to be a human being.  A resilient human being that can withstand the test of time. *“… I’ll give you two words as a guide for life.  And I let them sit, because just like them you’re thinking, what two words? And I don’t think anyone guesses I’m going to say, ‘Stay human’”.

And those two words are his invaluable gifts to me.  I miss him deeply and dearly; I miss being able to call him and hear his voice, to fly across continents to see his face, to have our long conversations during car rides or even longer ones over dinner.

Albeit small, my intention with this is to thank my father for what I have learned and continue to learn from him.

My sweet baba, thank you for wanting me to be all that I could be.  Thank you for instilling in me an insatiable curiosity, thank you for touching me so deeply, thank you for introducing me to life and igniting the fire in my belly, thank you for showing me how to love and adore my mother and for continuing to walk beside me in life.

I will end with this powerful quote, by Ernest Hemingway.

The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.  But those that will not break it kills.  It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially.

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