G-dad

9 Mar

We drifted apart once my brothers and I grew older. From seeing each other every week to once every fortnight and then once a month.

For a big part of our lives, we never saw you because you were still working as a cab driver and sometimes when we visited you, you were never there.

Till later when you fell ill and couldn’t drive anymore. We made a point to visit you more often, to remind the stubborn you to eat healthy and take your medicine. But you were never going to give up your favourite food were you? Which was pretty much a wide range of unhealthy foods.

As your health deteriorated, I was puzzled with one thing. Your wife, who has been complaining to us about you since the age we were old enough to understand her. Yet she always stood by you, always.

As a young fat kid, I always thought you were a mean and weren’t very nice to her. You made her upset and cried sometimes. Mom and dad didn’t know, so they couldn’t explain why things were this way.

Somehow, somewhere along the line I taught myself not to judge you. Because you were so nice to us when we get to see you. You always made a point to come next to us, put your big arms around and ask us how we’ve been or what we are doing. Even when you were well, you couldn’t never remember how old we were so I’m guessing it was never the sickness. That told me you cared.

You guys were the weirdest couple and though one wouldn’t say you both are the most exemplary parents around, you taught me that there was another kind of love. Your wife would nag at you. Sometimes, you argued back and sometimes you gave that relenting smile, not knowing what else to say. It seemed like you guys were quarreling all day. The fact was when you were ill or well, you guys spent everyday together.

As much as she loved complaining about you, she cared so much as to stick around you. You guys spent so much time together and I was utterly confused. But as puzzled as I was, I understood that as much as you did things that annoyed her, you gave her something she couldn’t live without.

Then your illness became serious and it was down to a difficult decision of amputating your leg to live for another couple of years or more. Our family was separated into 2 groups, to do it or not to do it.

Humans are funny isn’t it. Selfishly funny. It was a situation where some wanted you to recover albeit wheelchair bound and ‘incomplete’ while some were preparing for your departure and felt you should leave as a whole.

I wanted you to do it, because I know someone couldn’t live without you. As guilty as it is, I told my parents another couple of years would be great to make up for lost time. Yet, that would mean asking you to live on, wheelchair bound.

Dad managed to convince you to do it. Then a sudden change of mind. A week later, you were discharged once again and the waiting game started.

I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly though. A couple of days later, you were admitted again and fell unconscious. Mom was crying, so were her cousins. My brothers and I handled it well and surprisingly, so did your wife.

The doctor predicted that you would leave on the 10th of March. We waited past 11pm and it seemed that you were strong enough to hold up another day. I was tasked to accompany Mom back home and we all felt we should say our last goodbye, just in case.

You were the first relative to leave me and I told myself it was not that big a deal because it’s part and parcel of life. But like I said, humans are funny in the way that they just don’t like the feeling of having things taken away from them.

I held your heavy hand and talked to you for the first time in weeks. I told you to go, I begged you to go and assured that my brothers and I would take good care of your wife and daughter. I didn’t know if you could hear me or understood me. As I repeated myself a couple of times, you squeezed my hand and mom felt it too. Thank you for squeezing back to acknowledge. But you didn’t go. I held back till I saw my brothers outside the ward and told them that you acknowledged me. I asked them if you knew what day it was and they said you did.

You finally left on the 11th of March 11.45pm. It’s just a date but I feel that because of this, we have some sort of connection.

We still talk about you whenever we eat at one of your favourite places or chance upon one of your hangouts. When I jokingly ask your wife that I wanted to get my bike license, she would say that you forbid us to learn before you left. I’m quite sure that’s not true. Peace out G Dad. Don’t worry, we’ll always take care of her.


 
 
 
 
 
 

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