Tag Archives: true love

DADDY | “THANK YOU. FOR EVERYTHING.” or THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING

“Thank you. For everything.”

48 years. Culminating in four words. Whispered into one ear. Punctuated by a warm kiss. On the still frozen but rapidly thawing cheek. Of the eternal, undeniable love of her life. Before the doors to that ambulance closed. And their physical bodies said goodbye. Forever.

You want to talk about grace? You want to talk about dignity? You want to talk about honoring a legacy? You want to talk about strength?

Mom. Is incredible.

When I was conceived, my mother gave me strength by her own nourishment. When I was born, my mother gave me strength from her milk. When I was a fat kid with a short temper and a penchant for being ridiculed, she gave me strength through her love. When I was a barely competent high schooller, she gave me strength with her faith. When I was struggling at work, she gave me strength through her reinforcement. When I was struggling to find love, she gave me strength by her understanding. When I was struggling with peace and patience as a parent, she gave me strength with her time.

When I lost my Daddy, she gave me strength with her words and her example. Her final words to him as we pulled away in the ambulance toward the crematorium.

No “why did you leave us.” She thought it. She thinks it. I am sure.

No “what will we do.” She thought it. She thinks it. I am sure.

No “How will I go on.” She thought it. She thinks it. I am sure.

Just.

Thank you.

For everything.

“@#%&?! How is she doing this?”

Our truest self come out at our most vulnerable of moments.

Being grateful. Being thankful. That’s my mom’s truest self.

Thank you, Mom, for giving Anu KiranPriya KC Bhatt and I strength.

Yesterday we held a Celebration of Life ceremony for Daddy. Mom’s example. Her strength allowed us to make the ceremony about saying thank you to Daddy, for the people he influenced. But also, hopefully, everyone who was there, walked out feeling equally celebrated and thanked. They deserve it.

For 48 years, Family and friends showered our parents and our family with love and support. Bringing a lifetime of smiles to our faces. Helping Daddy leave this world at the height of happiness.

To all of you, there in spirit or in person, thank you for everything.

Life is only going to get more real. It’s not going to stop. It’s not going to get worse. It’s just going to get more real. More finite. Everything that happens now for me comes fully contextualized. As someone who enjoys storytelling, I say that before 2/4, life felt like it only had a beginning and a middle—I now know there’s an end. Not academically. Not an end I can’t empathize with because I’m in my early 20’s. An end that’s all too real because I’m in my 40’s and I’m a dad.

If I have any advice to give, it’s to work deliberately and urgently. Make use of photo albums. Not as a way to remember faces that are gone, but to add vivid back story to people who are here. Hug. Love. Celebrate. Talk to and about the people you love like you would if you knew you’d lost them, and then been granted that one last chance. Silly sh*t. Who cares. Do it.

Yesterday I asked honestly, what I’ve been asking for the past month: is it truly better to have loved and lost. I’ve been struggling with that. This pain is so exceptional, it doesn’t feel like it. It’s compounded by the simple fact of how much my parents loved each other. I sometimes wish now that they were less in love.

But that’s silly. It’s ignoring 48 years of life for what remains.

It is better to have loved and lost. Especially if you find someone who looks at you the way Daddy always looked at Mom.

DADDY | 3-6

Thank you, Mom. For your example and your strength.

Thank you, Family and friends, for your love and support.

And thank you Daddy…

…for always looking at Mommy this way.

We’ll be fine. I know we will. Because Mom said so.

Note: I’ve collected all the posts and thoughts I’ve shared about my Daddy’s death in one place. Some people have found it helpful as they’ve navigated through their own experiences, or, as they’ve had to step in to support others. This is one in a series, and you can find the full list of posts here.

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TMLYFI… | “Never”

My magic. I’m inspired to share this moment with you. I promised myself that after year 1 I’d reduce what I posted out of fear of embarrassing you at some odd point down the line. Digital history from birth is still new to us, and is just becoming a point of debate. So I don’t want to do something you’ll regret.

But today, you made my life (let it be noted that on a daily basis, you tend to do this.) Yet, see, I haven’t seen you in three days. And my exposure has been limited. Partially because you are in Canada on an amazing trip with family. And partially because I am in NY working on work … that maybe I didn’t need to work so hard on.

Your extraordinary mom FaceTimed me this evening and what i saw when I accepted and the screen came to was you, head heavily rested on her shoulder, eyes, debating the world outside and the dreams inside. A hell of a debate, IMHO.

So I looked at you. I said your name. I kissed. I did everything in my power to get a response and you blinked, but nothing more. So I went to our ritual. The words I whisper to you every night since the day you were born. The words that showcase the ends of the earth I will run to for you. That close with the same word. Every single day for the past 18 months and 30 days.

That word? “Never”

And as I have done since you started acknowledging, I leave the last word for you to say. And you did.

With God (your mom) as my witness, you finished our exchange like you would had you have been on my shoulder right here in JC.

“Never.”

You said it. And I know,t hat you know, how much I know, that word means to me. The rest of the world will never know our exchange. But may the know now how it ends.

“Never.”

As in…when I will forget this moment. You are magical, my bbcc. A not so good day, turns into the greatest day ever.

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TMLFYI… | Joy

Pure. Joy. ‘Nuff said, munchkin.

Anaiya Joy

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My $.02 | Family and Handoffs

What a great family weekend in the Poconos. We haven’t spent nearly enough time with the family, which means you, my loveliest of little ones, haven’t built that connect yet either. We’ll get better about it. There’s no choice. These are the people who raised me and every single person in one of the following pictures has had such a profound influence on my life, it’s disappointing to me how little time you’ve actually spent with them. That is on me to fix.

I can talk about the Poconos in so many ways. A few highlights:

  • Dadaji being your formal stroller pusher. He likes predictability and schedules. And now he’s got one very clear place to own the relationship with you.
  • Dadiji filled with pride. When you smile. When you turn. When you eat. When you do anything, I swear I can see her heart swell from the outside in.
  • Dadi Naniji. One of the sweetest and most purely loving people in the world doing what she does best with everyone, with you — loving.
  • Hitu Dada Mama. One of the quirkiest members of the family and one who will undoubtedly become one of your favorites. He’s always behind the scenes but he’s always there. Like in the pictures…never the subject, always enabling. And he was the first one to hold you each morning because he was awake, there, and waiting. Like he always is.
  • Charu Dadi Mami. She’s going to make you stronger and she’s going to make you laugh. And she’s also going to make you famous with her photography. With so many boys around, she’s one reason you’ll be spoiled and supported unconditionally.
  • Chetu Dada Mama. The baby whisperer. You already have some amazing photos with him but they don’t capture his thirst for life. His will be a pair of arms and a lap that you will always gravitate to — every child does.
  • Prity Dadi Mami. She fought hard to have you sleep in her room but we were silly parents about it. 🙂 It happens. She’s  the one who made this weekend happen and you’ll see, that when family events happen, she’s such a powerful glue. She was the first person to welcome your mom to this side of the family.Massage
  • Tito Foi. If there’s a person who loves you and thinks about you more, please let us know. She gave you one of the longest, most relaxing, and most public (there was quite an audience) massages you’ll ever have. Expect more such pampering through eternity.
  • Suraj Kaka. The human jungle gym. Not just for kids, for adults too. It was his first time meeting you but you can see the love in his eyes. You’ll always be protected when he’s there. He’s truly all heart.
  • Holly Aunty. For many of us, the first time meeting her, so you were in no different a place. But she embraced you the right way, and you’re going to have a friend for life in that one — for now though, we’ll jus tfocus on commenting on each other’s Facebook walls. 🙂
  • Sohum Kaka. Daddy’s older brother. He’s off to San Francisco to become Teacher Man, and do what he does best — make other people better. I couldn’t be happier that he got time with you before he left. You know, he was the first baby Daddy actually remembers holding and changing diapers for?
  • Neil Kaka. Swoon. That’s what most people do around him and I’m sure this time will be no different. But I think, he’s met his match. And you can see it in his face and the way he talks about you to his friends. The swooning is going the other way. And you know he’s made so many trips to see you here in Jersey City — though maybe it’s because of Daddy’s fridge, too?
  • Eeshan Kaka. He took you to your first coffee shop, you know. Eeshan Kaka is saving the world starting with North Carolina, so it was great to make sure you got extended time with him here. He’s got a mind and brainpower that reinforces your pedigree — and compensates for Daddy in so many ways.
  • Amu Kaka. He’s been the same personality since he was 12 months old — and it’s bound to be one of your favorites. We’re going to drive down to visit Kaka while he’s at Delaware, and we’re going to let him carry you and push the stroller. Because that’s a great way to pick up girls. The problem might be, that based on how he looks at you (and tweets about you), he may miss all the action around him.

That’s part of your family, munchkin. Look at all that love. And if it’s hard for you to read all this, maybe it’s better for you to check out the pictures below. One of my favorite goodbyes. As a man who has struggled with goodbyes for ages (one of the best parts of my childhood were when your Dada Mama’s used to come visit almost every Friday, one of the worst parts of my childhood were when they would leave on Sunday) this brought me to tears. Every person having their own unique moment with you. Every person smiling at you smiling back.

It’s the one thing I think everyone in the world needs more of. It’s the one thing I want most for you: to feel loved. Always. Unconditionally.

As your family hugged you, kissed you, reinforced their love for you, and then passed you along to the next in line, I couldn’t help but feel certain that you are one who’s loved in ways that go beyond any form of measurement. And that, makes Mommy and me, the happiest people in the world.

Now, to the handoff!

Holly

Suraj

1-Nani

2

3

4

5

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Feeling loved?

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