On a seemingly typical day, my dad left home to finish some work but never came back. As a child, I did not fully understand the meaning of “death” and so for years after that, I continued to pray that he returns home safely. I thought if I prayed hard enough, one day the doorbell would ring and we would find him there at our doorstep. Whenever any dear one oversleeps back then, I would cry out of fear that they died, just like dad. Deep down, I couldn’t cope with the emptiness his absence created. An absence that could never be filled.
I recall all those chocolate bars and favorite candies I kept for my dad hoping that one day God will answer my naive supplication and I will be able to share them with him. I remember all those angry letters I wrote to my father while waiting; “why did you leave home without telling me you love me?” I thought.
Today, my close friends know I never attend any “graduation” or “goodbye” parties in which everybody is saying “goodbye” to everybody. I find the bitterness of the word in such “celebrations” overwhelming. I never understood how could people celebrate a meeting which can be their last with a loved one! Could they be stronger than I? I don’t know.
Even though the whole experience has been emotionally exhausting to go through, it built up one really positive side. It made me aware, early on in my life about the real meaning of the phrase “life is too short” which most of us keep repeating automagically. I would never hesitate to grab first chances as they occur to express how much loved ones mean to me. I may not be a-party-kinda-of-person, but who needs a party when you are surrounded by those who love you unconditionally and make sure you know that!