Connecting Planets with Dad
This week, I got a text from my sister:
Call me when you’re done work
The last time I got a similarly worded message, it related to my mother passing away. I suspected this message would be in a similar vein.
I called her as soon as I was alone, on the train home for the day.
At first, the connection was rough as I was moving. When the train stopped at the station, she repeated her message:
Dad died in his sleep last night. It was unexpected.
Ooof - this feels like a punch in the gut. I’ve had a couple of those this week already. When it rains, it pours. sigh
I miss my dad. I don’t go home often because it’s far and my parents also taught me:
Don’t waste your money!
Every time I think: should I go visit them or save the money, well, I never end up visiting them (but I also don’t save the money!)
Hence, I don’t go home frequently. In the last two decades, I have only been back a handful of times. Every time I go, it’s a big hassle. In the winter, it’s too cold there, in the summer, it’s too busy wherever I am. Adding a young son that is energetic irrespective of the local time-zone, just makes it easier to not go.
Even so, I still have strong memories of him.
He didn’t spend much time at home when I was younger. He was always out working on something. My mom stayed home to take care of us. (I appreciate now having my own family!)
Whenever he came back, it was not a good sign because mom called him when I did something bad.
One time, he was back but I didn’t do anything bad so, it was already weird. As he was leaving, my sister and I were on the stairs in front of the door seeing him off.
All of the sudden my dad hugged and kissed us, then left.
It was so weird because I never hugged anyone before.
What made this even more special was that as a child, life was full of TV, while my life did not reflect TV life at all.
Watching TV was like an alien planet to me. We didn’t do anything like we saw on TV. No dinners at the table. Both parents at home hanging out. We were a family on one planet watching families on another planet.
When my dad hugged me, it felt like a moment that would happen on families on TV, where dads hugged their children and kissed them. I had it. This simple hug and kiss from my dad connected those two planets, the one I was in and the one I watched.
From this memory of my dad, I make sure I hug and kiss my son whenever I leave for work.
Thank you Dad
Only now, I realize my dad did a lot for us. I couldn’t tell at the time because he was never there, as a father myself now, I understand. Being a father is hard.
I have more memories of my dad that I will share. This was one memory that stuck out to me right away when I heard the news.