For The Man Who Will Never Leave My side
Yesterday was my grandfather’s death anniversary and that took me back to a moment I’ll never forget. It was a rainy night when my grandfather’s body was brought home in the ambulance and, at that moment, everyone around me was filled with deep sorrow.
My eyes were scanning the crowd for my father, because I just needed to see him. After what seemed like ages, I saw him walking towards me, slowly nodding at whoever was looking at him, pity in their eyes. I hugged him tightly, tears rolling down my face, drenching his already wet shirt. He whispered “it’s okay” in my ears and held me tight, protecting me from whatever it was that I was scared of.
That’s when I knew that no matter what, this man will be there for me, even when he is in a lot of pain, even when he is broken.
And that’s what fathers do. That is who they are.
I have never seen my dad cry losing control of his emotions in front of my brother or me. Yup, stereotypical trait right there. But he does that because he wants to be strong for us, be our pillar at all times.
This Father’s Day, I want to tell him to stop taking such a burden on his shoulders and to let his guard down. To show us his feelings, so that we can tell him, “dad, let’s be strong together. You don’t have to do this alone. Not anymore”.
Till date, our wishes, demands, and future have always been a priority for him — whether it is eating a roti less or working long hours to fund our education. Some may say that it is his duty, you know being a parent and all, but it goes beyond that.
From the time we are born to when we go to school, graduate from college, or get married, a father will remember everything about the journey — and I mean everything.
They will store it safely and cherish it, go back to the first time you held their hand, the first time you had a math problem, the time you told him you love someone – he may not show it, but everything about his child growing up affects him, in more ways than he will ever tell you.
Society, over the years, has put immense responsibility on the man to be the perfect father. To go work and earn bread. To not shed a tear and get gifts. To be stern and set rules. Society and its norms have prior traits that a father figure has to follow, which is just sad.
Why aren’t they allowed to be soft, to show their emotions? Why can’t they breakdown? They have every right to.
Every time I cry, it hurts my father, but he will always send mom as his messenger to check if I’m okay. Whenever I come home late, he will pretend to be asleep, but will actually only rest once I’m safely tucked in. He will make tea for me when he sees me stressed. I know it’s clichéd for me to say this, but he is my secret superhero, my guardian angel.
He may not love my job or life choices — most fathers take time to adjust to the fact that their little human is growing up. More than mothers, it is them who have a hard time letting go. But they are also the ones who are immensely proud.
I, and I’m sure all of you too, want to tell him that it’s okay. It is okay and though we are growing up, though we hardly see each other, we are never going to be apart. After all, a dad is a daughter’s king and always will be.
Fight with him all you want, it’s a given if you want to maintain this intense relationship, but don’t let it get to a point where you can no longer talk to him. Believe it or not, it happens a lot.
This Father’s Day, tell your old man how you feel because trust me, time is running out. It really is.
Ask him to share his feelings. Know more about his job, his childhood, his friends, maybe his girlfriends? Trust me, he’ll give you better results than Google on ‘how to get over that jerk’.
Write a letter, go on a drive, a dinner date, or watch a movie at home – be there for your father today and always. Because no matter how many guys come and go, this one will never leave. Then again, he has no option.