While I was driving to work this morning, the pair of radio DJs were accepting phone calls from listeners and wanted to hear their stories with their dads and what message do they want to convey.
One lady listener called in. She said that her relationship with her father had never been described as close. They never talk longer than a few minutes. Her father never read her bedtime stories neither had he discussed what her ambitions are or anything that resembles an effort to get to know her better as a person. Before she hang up the phone, she said her love for her father despite all these. And she cried.
I reflected on my own relationship with my late Abah. There was a phase in my life when we were strangers and I regretted it although I did try to make up for the lost time after that after I got married. I am glad I did.
We had wonderful Father’s Day celebrations during the last final few years when he was still around. And birthdays and Eidil Fitri too. They were not much, could be some simple home cooked meals that I prepare for him. He was happy enough to invite his friends to come to the house and enjoy the food as well. I was a very flattered daughter. Content even, to make her dad a happy man. He enjoyed cooking. And cooked he did with my daughter. In my kitchen things will ended up misplaced or missing after their kitchen-escapade but I didnt mind at all. Afterall, the happiness I saw on his face was irreplaceable.
And oh! The cakes he baked! Weird ones sometimes – rose syrup butter cake, savoury cakes, Milo cake, Horlics cake. Whatever fancies that came to his mind. They all ended up eaten anyways.
It has been more than 8 years since he passed away. I used to keep his mobile number in my phone but since then deleted it. I found myself calling the number whenever I wanted to talk to someone. I always did when he was still alive. He never said much but had always been there for me to listen to all my rants. I went to him when I first felt the hint of trouble in my marriage. I didnt know what to do then and figured that since he himself had gone through all the pain as a divorce man, wanted to hear his side of the story.
He didnt advocate divorce but emphasized that happiness can only comes from within. What works for others may not work for me. And he gave me all his blessings in whatever decision that I may decide from there onwards.
If he were still around for Father’s Day, I’d like to take him to have his favourite makan – steamed fish Thai style and fried kailan with salted fish.
I miss my dad and this Sunday, I am going back to the hometown to visit his grave and offer him some prayers from this daughter of his.