Sunday, June 16, 2024

have loved him my whole darn life

I posted a short tribute on FB for Father's Day. I wrote, "My dad was the first feminist I knew. (He loved the poet Bharathiar deeply, and perhaps that's where *he* got it from...) I am so lucky to have had his fierce love and support in all things big and small all my life. I know he's loved me since I was born, but I've actually loved him my whole darn life."

But there's so much more to say... How he came from a family of six brothers, and mourned the baby sister who died as an infant for decades. How he'd tuck my sister and me into bed like it was a military operation--even lifting our feet to tuck the sheets under them. How he teared up when I got my first period, because he was so sad for my future lifetime of cramps and discomfort. How when I said he loved fiercely, I meant fierce in all its senses--sometimes he'd be so moved kissing us, his face would be like a grimace. How he made a rule that my mom could not compare us to other kids. How he'd find something good about even our failures or frame them in the most generous light. How he'd had secretaries to "take dictation" at work, but would painstakingly write notes to us in his (truly) terrible handwriting.

My mom is right--good dads get more kudos than good moms because good dads are rarer than good moms. But as the years go by and he gets older, I cherish every day and every conversation with my dad even more. I'm hoping to take all my A's--Big, Little, and Baby--to go visit him in India next year.

Pic: My dad and me on Elliot's Beach; I'm sure my favorite uncle took this one. I look so much like dad in this one.

7 comments:

Gillian said...

Cute.

Nicole said...

Your mom IS right, but all the same, your dad sounds really special. I can see you in him, in his empathy and kindness. xo

Nance said...

This is a beautiful tribute to what sounds like a truly beautiful man of great empathy. It sounds like being a father was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for him. I can't imagine the bounty of his Joy when he gets to hold and be with all of you next year.

StephLove said...

Lovely picture and tribute.

I always have mixed feelings on Father's Day. My father and I weren't close and while a lot of that was on him, I have regrets that I didn't do more to bridge the rift. He got to know Noah a little, but North just barely. They were 8.5 and 3.5 when he died.

Jenny said...

This is lovely! My dad and I had a difficult relationship (he was a difficult person.) It was only after he died that I saw things from a different perspective, and could appreciate the good things about him. I'm glad you have such a great father, AND can appreciate him and cherish the time you have with him.

Mom of Children said...

He sounds so special, Maya. Many blessings to him on this father's day.

maya said...

Gillian--Thanks!

Nicole--Wow, Nicole! Thank you!

Nance--Superstitiously, I'm anxious now that I've put it out there... I hope those hopes come to fruition.

Steph--I'm sorry. I really think it is up to parents to reach out. But OTOH, regrets are tough to live with. I'm glad your kids got to see him and make some memories. My parents used to live with us for six months at a time--those were such precious times. Now they can't travel and we're too far away to see each other frequently...

Jenny--I'm sorry for your loss. Every child surely deserves generous and present parents. I am happy for both those things too, but I know I'm in the minority here, so I feel some guilt and anxiety about them.

Daria. Thank you! What a kind and generous wish!

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