It is very sad for me to recollect my moments of togetherness with my Dad. I vividly remember of our happy life with him guiding and caring us, his son and daughters, all the time. To the world he was a simple man who stood the test of time, but to us, he was our world: a world without which living beings would find no life.
People say life is like a novel, full of suspense: you don’t know what’s going to happen unless you flip to the next page. This is indeed an inescapable truth. My ‘happy life’ became a chapter of sheer suspense in the novel of ‘our life’ when my Dad fell ill.
I remember vaguely seeing him for the last time on his sick bed. I was eight years old then with my brother ten and sister four. All of us were too young to realize that sickness was one of the signs of death’s arrival. We never thought our Dad would desert us as he loved us more than his own. He suffered from cancer; the disease which I later came to know was incurable. Before we could grow tall to fetch him a cup of water in his death bed, he left us alone in the world. The ‘merciless’ death took him, our world, too early.
It was in the year 1992 when my Mom was 28. His death brought a great blow to our lives. It affected our family so much. My Mom had to run from early morning till late evening hunting for the square meals for us. Everything shattered: the heaven burst away and hell faced us. In the darkness, we lost our path and in fact the zest to walk.
We were trying to overcome the atrocities of death of our beloved father when my mother-in-law (Dad’s sister) gave us another ‘death’. Deaths after death! She, who was once amiable turned hostile and demanded my father’s property. Even before my Mom could finish my Dad’s funeral, she snatched my Dad’s briefcase that had some amount of money and demanded more. When we refused to hand over the other properties, she returned with her men bringing sickles and crowbars to uproot our home built by my father. She humiliated us and treated us worst than animals. My Mom did not have anyone to lean on and get supported. As a kid we were so innocent. The only thing we could do was to watch our Mom running hastily around in tears suffering in the cruel hands of so-called ‘blood relatives’.
The case did not end with that humiliation. She took us to the court soon after. My innocent Mom had to battle the case alone for several months. It was finally decided that an arbitrator divided the property between my Mom and my mother-in-law. The arbitrator however was bribed by my mother-in-law and blatantly he divided the property (unequally) favoring her. The scooter which my mother asked the arbitrator to offer to one of the holy places was taken by him. We could do nothing. My fatigued mother was so weak to breathe all these issues again.
When the head of your family dies, there are many in the society who aspires to be your head. Without someone to lead the family it is utterly difficult to defend the daily familial functions. You would be living but just for the sake of living.
After my Dad’s death, I grew like a stunted tree by the road side. I saw my friends with their Dad and wished for one. But I had none. I often had to reconcile and rekindle my ‘belief’ that he has gone forever and never will he come back even if I missed him for billion times. Today I am decked with so many questions that are answerless. Every time I try to hide them, my sadness of missing my Dad overpowers me. I wish he was still around. I am missing the most wonderful relation in this world. No pain can ever be stronger than the pain of missing one’s beloved. Even though we do not see each other, he remains in my heart forever. And he will live in my memory for the times to come.
‘I miss you and love you Daddy. You will forever be homed in my warm heart!’
Contributed by Rinchen Pee Yangzom