“Nothing is worse and more hurtful than a happiness that comes too late. It can give no pleasure, yet it deprives you of that most precious of rights – the right to swear and curse at your fate!” Ivan Turgenev
Today is father’s day. A sad day for me and my kids. I am sad because almost four years ago I lost my father and a year after that I lost my husband and my children lost their father. My dad was old, in his early eighties when he passed away. He had lived his life and had seven grandchildren. When my husband passed away in his fifties, his death overshadowed my father’s. He was young and had so much to see and do for his family, his kids and himself. He left behind so many unaccomplished dreams.
I know I should be grateful for the time we had together. And I am. Because he was this true gentleman, loving, caring, giving not only to us, his family and loved ones, but to everyone who crossed his path. He never said no to those who needed him. And in our competitive and materialistic world people like him are rare to find. To quote Ivan Turgenev:
“He was the soul of politeness to everyone – to some with a hint of aversion, to others with a hint of respect.”
I am so grateful for the times we had together, for knowing you, for loving you. I am lucky to have met you and spent the best years of my life with you. You were the best husband and the best dad and the best friend and companion and soul mate I could ever have or ever wish for. Except that for all those years that we lived in Dubai we never celebrated father’s day. It was just not in the culture, at least not when we were living there. Neither did we celebrate it in Lebanon back then. It was only when we moved to Canada that we started.
Ironically though, in the thirty years that we were married we only had one real father’s day celebration: the first year we were here. After that our life and everything in it seemed to take a downfall.
There’s an old saying; “Take whatever you want from life but never forget God expects you to pay one day.”
I guess our payback day had come somewhat early. What is left is a new us. We will never be the same again, or see the world as we once did. It’s like with our loss has come yet another loss, that of innocence. We have come to realize that life is not what it seems to be. And that something like this can happen to us and has happened. And as a consequence we are more vulnerable and sad now.
And on this father’s day, it will be exactly two years seven months and five days since his passing. Lots have happened since then. And with each day we feel his loss more and more. We long for his presence here with us more than anything in the world. There’s an emptiness in me, in us, that will never be replaced no matter what.
And on this day I cannot help but think of all the dads who are not in this world anymore. I think of the dads who are away from their families serving their country or working their butts off somewhere far away in order to provide a better life for their kids.
And on this day I cannot help but be grateful for the life we (the kids and I) had with him, for the love I knew, for the joy he brought into our lives. Father’s day should be a day of gratitude for the three of us and we will celebrate his life with tears in our eyes and an empty heart. For the legacy he left us in the short time that he was with us is far greater than any we have known so far. In the words of Jean Paul Sartre:
“There is a future that lies beyond death and that almost turns death into an accident in the individual’s life, a life that goes on without him.”
Happy father’s day my darling. I like to believe you’re up there somewhere together with my dad watching over us.