My life changed forever on January 29th, 2002, the day my father passed away. I had lost the greatest man I’d ever known and I’d never be the same again.
I still remember the day my father was diagnosed with brain tumour. I was devastated when my sister told me. The next six months was a blur, with surgeries, radiations and chemotherapies. The doctor had given his verdict…six months at the most. We knew time was precious and made conscious efforts to create as many wonderful memories as we could.
Through all this, my father never changed, always smiling, telling jokes and never complaining about the pain. How many of us would be able to put other people’s burdens on top of their’s in such a situation. My father did. He was the best father any daughter ever had.
My silver lining during this traumatic period was my mother. It was as if I was seeing a stronger side of her that I never knew existed. She took the reins of the household effortlessly and I never ever saw her break down in front of my father. None of us ever did. It was as if we knew there would be plenty of time for that later on. And we rushed ahead with my sister’s wedding to fulfil his last wish. I still remember sitting in a van outside the church with my father in a wheelchair and my mother forever holding his hands while my sister was getting married. Through it all, my father was smiling…making me wonder where he drew his strength from.
Towards the end, it became heart breaking to see him slowly deteriorate. The last week when he was falling in and out of consciousness was especially difficult. We were able to tide through it all thanks to some wonderful relatives and friends. I still remember my cousin reading aloud a novel to him in true theatrical style hoping my father would be able to hear at least some part of it.
When my father passed away, a part of me died along with him. It took me a couple of years to come to terms with his death. I still miss him every day of my life. There are days when the pain is too much to bear and I long to hear his voice, just so that I know he is fine wherever he is.
My father taught me to live life to the fullest, with courage and grace. I know I am blessed to have had such a loving father and I thank God every day for giving me the best dad in the world. Words cannot describe how much I treasure the wonderful memories we made together. He will forever be my Hero.