This is the last post in a series called Life Without Dad that has been made throughout 2012 about my life without my father. The first part, Life Goes On, was posted back on January 25th. The second part, Urgency & Complacency, was posted on Fathers Day. The third part Reflection & Respect, was posted on his birthday (September 4th). The fourth part, Sacrifice & Opportunity, was posted on Thanksgiving. The fifth part, Being Awkward, was posted on December 28th, 2012. The loss of a parent is never easy, the loss of the parent who you didn’t necessarily get along with but were always able to talk to is even harder. Thank you to all of my family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances for your support during this, the, first year of the rest of my life.
Dad, last year on January 1st I was finally fully rested after over a week of little to no sleep. The lack of sleep leading up to New Years Day last year were for obvious reasons, you had just left us and I was sort of feeling lost and alone. I did not realize these were the feelings I was having until about 3 months later when a friend told me I was lost and depressed and should seek professional help.
Dad, the last year has changed me a lot and I am sure I will continue to change every day, week, month, and year for the rest of my life. As I said a multiple times in the last few months, I have become independent in the last year even though I can barely afford to pay my own rent I am doing my best to do it every month. My wish is for Masood, Frieda, and Mom to understand that I am making my own decisions and support me in the decisions I make rather than interpret this as me being awkward.
Dad, I have always been myself the problem is that the family has never seemed to realize that I was being myself and was constantly asking me to change my habits. You can ask a person to change, it is up to them to actually change. Some of the things that the family has asked me to change about myself are things that I continue to work on, such as my communication skills and my temper. Other things, such as my willingness to generally be more helpful to the family, are things that could have been changed when I was younger , unfortunately right now there is no changing this, I need to help myself now.
Dad, I am at a stage of my life where I am no longer willing to change certain things because it is time for me to learn to take care of myself and help myself and you always understood this the last few years and always encouraged me to do what was right for me. My hope is that in 2013 Mom, Frieda, and Masood start to understand that I am taking care of myself now not because I don’t want them in my life but because I am an adult, and adults have to take care of themselves.
Taking care of oneself means not telling their family every little thing that is going on and not necessarily asking Mom, Frieda, and Masood for help with bigger problems or tasks. Dad, you understood this and I am sure Mom, Masood, and Frieda understand it but my other wish for 2013 is that they start to realize that I understand it and no longer feel a need to ask them for help, opinions or advice on what I am having problems with in my life.
Dad, you were the only one in this family who truly understood me; Even though I never showed, through my actions, while you were alive that I was grateful to you for everything you did for me, I am going to show it, through my actions, moving forward. Dad, I know deep down that even though you can no longer convey cryptic messages to me such as that night in early November after my interview in Crystal Lake, when in passing you said, “Einstein was a slow starter too”, that you are still watching over my left shoulder wishing you could; I have every bit of confidence that when I see you in the afterlife you will be able to praise me for taking care of mom, Masood, and Frieda the in same way you took care of us for the last 34 years. Dad, thank you for being the role model you were and teaching me to never give up.
Dad, the only lesson that will ever mean more to me than the lesson of reflection is that of RESPECT. This is something that I definitely still have my issues with and it is something I continue to work on. But these are two lessons you taught me that I continue to live by. I reflect daily on the times where I failed to respect someone else or myself and those reflections are helping me make tremendous strides to be more respectful to everyone around me.
RIP Dad. September 4, 1944 – December 28, 2011.