Lots of laughter in the house. Dad and Shaurya (my son) are wrestling. Shaurya is winning and clapping. My mom, brother and me are cheering them both. I could not take my eyes off my Dad. His laughter accentuates the fine lines around his mouth. His hair and beard are rapidly graying. His eyes are twinkling with pure love and affection to his one and only grandson. The more he laughed and smiled the more clear his crow’s feet became. The realization hit me hard. My dad is getting old.
He gets tired quickly. He cannot run anymore. Climbing stairs is a painful chore. When did he get so old? Why did I not realize it? Maybe I was so busy living my life that I had no time to notice. But, today I am slowing down to know him more, to see him better and fill my soul with his laughter.
He never made us realize his pain. He was always chatty and friendly but, never revealed the tensions he had owing to financial constraints. He bought us new clothes and toys and continued to wear his decade old shirts. He never saw dreams for himself. He always helped others but, never asked for help. As I write this tribute to him my throat is constricted and eyes are moist. So many emotions flooding in my mind. Maybe my words can’t do enough justice now.
Strange was our relationship and distant I was kept from his troubles. Not being a son was a disadvantage maybe. Or did he fear his daughter’s teenage hood? Will I ever be able to make him proud? Will I ever be able to make him comprehend that he is my inspiration and I yearn for his appreciation?
After I became a mom, I bonded with my dad in a way I never thought was possible. The parent in me understood the parent in him. The daughter in me profoundly sensed the fatherly qualms he had. I have never told him how much he means to me because in our house, Dad is the one who speaks and we listen. I wish I could tell him that when adulthood scares me I find solace in his Paternal shade.
When we meet, we do not always talk a lot. Sometimes silence echoes between us. Honestly, I love basking in his fatherly hush more than ever before. I am not his son but, I have been gifted with his wit and a deep need to help people. I am chatty like him and not afraid to speak my mind. Daughters normally see their mothers in them but, I see my dad in me. Only if I could tell him all this. Well maybe someday my little Shaurya might read this blog post to my Dad. Maybe he will never know…
His creased forehead make known
his unshared agonies!
I was always willing to take on
all your responsibilities.
Your child I am
A part of you I am!
– Soman’s daughter Soumya
What is your Father-Daughter Story?