New Year’s Day 4 Years ago… Remembering Baba.


BabaWhen my father passed away on New Year’s Day of 2010, while death had previously impacted my life, losing him was unlike any emotional pain I’d ever experienced. His death literally sucked the oxygen out of my body. It felt hard to breathe. It suddenly felt like a large chunk of who I was; my DNA, my backbone, the person who had been with me since the very first day of my human experience was no longer tangible. I couldn’t just pick up the phone and hear his voice, I couldn’t wrap my arms around him and envelop him in a hug, I couldn’t tell him how much I simply adored being in his presence. I was simply out of time. I’d never felt the sting of death in this way- or comprehended the type of finality it entailed.

The truth is none of us have enough time. There’s never enough time to be with those you love. And even after a year of his battle with cancer, and the idea that I could somehow make peace with the fact that we were going to lose my father, whether he died at 55 or at 95 – I think it would always feel like there was never enough time to spend with him. I’d always want more; one last kiss, one last chance to say I loved him, one last chance to see a twinkle in his eye. Ultimately losing him at 55 has changed the trajectory of all of our lives. I think death in a family does that– it just changes everything.

The loss of my dad has forced me to re-evaluate the limits I put on myself and the relationships I hold dear. It’s brought my tolerance for other people’s bad energy to zero, and so if I don’t feel like being in a situation where I know I’ll be uncomfortable, where I would have sucked it up in the past, now I just won’t do it. It’s also made me acutely aware of how utterly short our time is here, and that once the switch on our life is turned off, that’s it, we’re done.

I want to say I believe in the afterlife– and I am forever looking for pennies, butterflies, some sign from my dad– but sadly I’ve gotten nothing- and I guess right now, at this moment in time- I believe this is it. The right here and now- it’s all we have and all we can truly enjoy. And oddly enough that was the attitude my dad had – one I never could quite grasp. He never seemed to truly allow any situation to get him mired in sadness, pity or doubt. He just moved along, whistling, and being this incredibly optimistic force. I miss him like crazy – I want to talk to him every day, I want to hear someone call me “Maio”, I want to hug his tiny, frail body, I want to see his smile.

I want to wrap my arms around him and tell him how grateful I am for all the times I never told him how much I appreciated him- like the time he used to drive with me every day when I started a new job and I had to drive the freeway for the first time, him and mama used to ride with me every day at 6AM, and drive the car back home to come and pick me up at the end of the day to let me drive home, all this just to make sure that I’m safe while driving on the freeway. I miss my daddy, my hero, the first man I ever loved. But I can’t spend every day feeling spiteful, angry at the universe, angry that he was taken, angry that he’s not here to share in the joys of my kids. I can’t walk around in a haze of sorrow and self pity because that would be antithetical to the way he lived his life.

So to my dad, happy New Year wherever you are, if indeed you are anywhere. If a soul does live on in some form or energy I want to believe you are soaring, like a star burst, just all light and love. And Daddy, thank you for all the gifts you’ve given me, especially the gift of understanding the value of time and that I need to be cognizant and appreciative of every day I have on this planet and with those I hold dear.

You will always be in my heart,

Mai


One Response to “New Year’s Day 4 Years ago… Remembering Baba.”

  1. Dina Says:

    Very heartfelt words. Happy New year to you and Allah yer7am your dad..There are no words i can say that can ease the pain of a loss of someone you love.. Allah ysabrek 3ala fura2oh :(

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