It is widely accepted that by the time you realize your father was right, you would have a child who thinks you are wrong. Fortunately, for me, I did not have to get that far.While I would not lament too much on the supreme merits of a father's counsel or wisdom, I must acknowledge how that counsel and wisdom have benefitted me enormously over the course of my life. It is nothing short of a blessing to have been protected and cared for by someone so wise, in a manner so unique and unconditional. Or, very special, might I add.
It is now more than twenty days since our beloved father passed away. The void that he leaves behind is incomprehensible. It is also painfully unbearable. But, knowing the eternal truth, that one must pass over, is comforting in some small measure.
Our perspectives were very different. He based his life on empathy and compassion, I drive mine on the basis of practicality and purpose. We were poles apart. He was a reservoir of patience, while I am in a perpetual sense of hurry. He was accommodating, I am questioning. He found no fault, while I find fault even in perfection. But, the beacon of my life - driven by a sense of integrity and commitment - is a gift due to his doing. He taught me to be kind, compassionate, loving, and forgiving, even when there was no necessity. And, this is what made him larger than life. Above all else, if I am endowed with a sense of being non-judgemental, it remains entirely due to his perseverance. While I had scant tolerance, or regard, for his sense of unconditional humility, something he was so famously known for, I realize how much he valued humanity as a whole, regarding it as part of him and as a larger part of where he belonged. He is the closest that I will ever know of someone who had perfect harmony in what he thought, believed, and conducted. It is, I reckon, not possible for me to attain such a position of nobility!
This heartfelt account is by no means a eulogy or a tribute. I would like to see it as a memoir, a tiny recollection of such a vast and nearly faultless life, of service, duty, commitment, persistence, perseverance, and integrity, all of these in extraordinary measure, even during the most trying circumstances. Character, he defined, in an outstandingly saintly manner, is what one would do when one were not witnessed.
As I haltingly write this clumsy piece of prose, I am exceedingly in a position to question my own self, my life, my being, my existence - as to whether I would ever be half the person that he so easily was. I could only wish.
Truth is that I do not know where I would begin. There's so much, I know, that lies ahead and so much that has come to pass. If anything, I am extremely grateful for his stewardship and for the gift of his person. I know life would never be the same again. In the end, we have lost his form, not his person. And, I am immensely comforted by the memories of our togetherness and love, which will endure well into time.
For an incredibly proud and timeless legacy of truth, justice, and steadfast uprightness, thank you, Dad. You are forever. Rest in peace.