A Letter To My Deceased Father.
It’s been a while! But I hope you are doing well, wherever you are.
Well, I do not know where to start. But I guess the best place to start is where we last saw each other. I remember your sad face when you were hopping into the taxi that came to take you to the hospital.
Your handsome face was not the same: darkness, sadness, and anxiety diminished the light that your smiley face always illuminated. You looked at me without whispering a word. And I looked back at you in the same manner, with deep silence prevailing between us in a state that we never experienced before.
The silent, unusual atmosphere showed its face again the morning I woke up to the news about your death. I vividly recall that morning and, of course, the preceding night. In my sleep that night, I saw you waving goodbye to me. And I didn’t think that that was an unusual thing. Because you used to wave goodbye countless times when you were traveling back to your work station after paying us a visit.
But this time around was different. For little did I know that I would never hug you again before you left for work. I had no clue that I was going to lose my first best friend and partner-in-crime.
Dad, the first morning without you in this world is among the saddest mornings of my life.
I remember waking up to voices of women crying in anguish. I then desperately walked into the living room to see what was happening. The moment my eyes set on mom’s, I started squirting tears like a burst water pipe.
Frankly speaking, I was not crying because you died; I was crying because my mother was crying. For I had never seen her in such state before; so, I guess that mother-to-son-natural-connection came into action. Thus, sharing the state of terror.
What happened next was rather interesting: paying my last respects. I moved my feet slowly towards your casket with my heart crawling in deep pain. I looked at you sleeping, with cotton covering your nostrils and ears. You looked pale but at peace. And that gave me comfort from all uncertainties that were wandering in my mind.
The time to send you to your eternal house came. “For dust you are, and to dust, you shall return,” the pastor cried. When my uncle directed the shovel with soil to me, I picked up the dirt and threw it onto your tomb to obey what the pastor proclaimed.
The choir started singing. It started singing the song that still rings bells in my mind whenever I hear it: “There is a beautiful city shining (heaven)… It isn’t far; it’s near. And we shall all sing together over there….” Meanwhile, my uncles and close friends picked the shovels and started flinging dirt onto your tomb, one after another. My eyes couldn’t stop looking at the disappearing sight of your casket, which symbolized the beginning of a new era without you.
What happened next after your burial was a period of ups and downs.
When I was getting ready for school one day, I remember hearing my aunts whispering about the possibility of mom departing as well. I don’t know what happened, honestly. The only thing I know is my mother was crying while begging God to look after her kids.
I was devastated; my heart dropped. I got onto the bed and started crying: “Mama usiniache… Mama usiniache….” My cry caught our neighbors’ attention, and they engulfed our house in a matter of seconds. My aunts tried to get me away from mom, but they couldn’t: I held her body with every strength I could gather.
Luckily, the panic situation went down after a few hours: My mother got better and stopped crying. On that day, I didn’t want to go to school anymore: I decided to keep watch of my mother. And after every few minutes, I put my ear on her chest, making sure that her heart was still beating.
This was the day, dad. This was the day that I swore to myself to love my mother in every kind of way a son is supposed to love his mother. This was the day that a sign was put in and on my heart. A sign that reads: “You are now the man of the family; therefore, show yourself a man!”
Undoubtedly, it is difficult to “show yourself a man” while growing up without a father. But, so far, God has been incredibly good to me. And if anything, I’ll forever be glad that He got you and mom together. Because mom’s strengths — of character and of mind — are among the run-to back-up systems for me. She has raised us well. Of course, with the help of our aunts and uncles — both from her family and your family. For that, I’ll forever be grateful.
Talking about uncles, I am a close friend of Uncle Benedict nowadays. Candidly, I have a huge admiration for him. His principles, his love for people, his work ethics, and his caring heart are among the factors that have established our friendship. By the way, he talks so highly of you. He told me that you were good friends. So, he gave me a glimpse of how you were like when you were my age.
He says that I look so much like you. Also, he told me that you used to like eating sweets a lot. I laughed hard at this fact because I also like eating them. Indeed, an apple doesn’t fall far from its tree. On the other hand, one thing that I lack is that I don’t play Karate like how you used to. Will I ever want to try it? Maybe. Maybe. But for now, let football rule my world.
Speaking about “my world,” I understand that you are interested to know about it. I have a lot to say, for sure. But let’s reserve that for another letter.
As of now, keep resting well. And do not worry about your wonderful daughter and about your beautiful wife. They are doing well. I am trying my best to take care of them.
I miss you a bunch.
PS: Warner Bros. Pictures will release a Tom and Jerry film next year! I’m so excited about it. But don’t worry, if God keeps me alive, I will roll ‘them’ spoiler alerts, assuming that you do not have the means to watch the movie where you are!