16th January, 2018

Ten years ago, today, my father died.
It’s been ten years, I realized as I welcomed the new year, yet, I have never missed him.
Never? Not exactly. I did feel a void for three quarters of an hour on the flight back to India to his sickbed, when a voice gnawed at my brain, “It’s all over.”
I cried, though for all the selfish reasons.
I could never have enough of his patience. I always demanded more. Who cared how he felt? He just never tired of loving me and I took him for granted… until he was taken away in the middle of one of the most difficult years of my life. There had been one significant death, another awaited, my family was all over the place.
Through the trying months, my father stood by me, 5000 miles away. I called him at the drop of the hat and he answered no matter what the hour. Not that he had solutions to my problems; he only listened. Who would do that now?
My eyes flowed. My daughter and all the BA cabin crew supplied me with reams of tissue.

The plane landed in Bangalore in the wee hours of the morning. I spied my sister and my nephew crying behind a pillar at Arrivals, too scared to face me.
“I know he has gone, he told me as he was going.” I embraced them so composed, I was amazed at myself.
Where did I get the strength?
I have been strong since. I tell people my father is with me, by me, 24X 7, helping me, guiding me every step of my way.
“Let go,” they say.
I have, that’s the essence of what we have to do, don’t we?
It’s just that he lingers, my guardian angel in his heavenly abode. I doubt that’s too far away.

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