This is quite a personal post for me and has taken me a very long time to find the words that will fit this blog post, the way it deserves.
I’m sure today started, for many of you, waking up a little earlier and making breakfast for the most important man in your life, your Dad.
For some, you’ll be rushing around last minute hovering around the Father’s Day aisle in Tesco’s because despite all the reminders on the TV, you still managed to forget it’s Father’s Day this Sunday.
For others you’ll be eagerly waiting your Dads response to yet another pair of socks.
But there are a select few people in this world who won’t be so lucky and I am one of them.
Rewind 7 years.
My siblings and I were huddled in the kitchen, making scrambled egg for our Dad while he was in the shower. Setting the table, and placing his Father’s Day cards around his plate. Fighting over who would sit next to him on the table, beaming from ear to ear when I claimed the seat next to his. Our Mum as the lookout telling us when my Dad was nearly ready to come down and how we would all be so excited to get a hug and kiss off him and wish him ‘Happy Fathers Day’. Seeing him opening his cards and presents and feeling so content about everything.
You see our Dad was the centre of our lives, if we weren’t rushing our homework to free up our weekends with him, we were eagerly waiting for him to walk through the door on a Friday night.
If I was able to pause our lives at that point when everything was going so smoothly, I would.
Father’s Day used to be a day full of joy and excitement.
But now as Fathers day approaches there’s feelings of dread, and the day is spent with a cloud of sadness looming over me as I count down the hours till the day is over.
This is personally one of my favourites and it’s also pretty fitting to today’s post:
“And please do not sit there and mourn me after I am gone, do not question why Allah (swt) has taken me. Do not utter the words why him, why did you take him. Do not cry at my grave, do not weep when you sleep reminiscing me. Just pray for me, pray for me when I’m gone, pray that my first night in the grave is bearable, pray for me. Do not pray for me because I am gone, but pray for me because I have returned to the One who created me. Please do not let tears run down the cheeks of my mother, tell her I am okay. Explain to my father that I had to return, explain to the ones I love that I am safe. I do not want you sitting beside my grave and mourning my death, I want you to smile because I am finally with Allah (swt).”
Our Papa passed away on 5th September 2010. I don’t think there is enough words in the dictionary that could come close to describing how empty we have all felt since that day.
We’ve all seen the documentaries, the cancer research adverts describing the battle of cancer and the toll it takes on a family, but while you sit on your sofa surrounded by your loved ones, you don’t think it’ll ever be you in that position.
Until one day, it is.
There’s not a day that goes by, where my Papa isn’t on my mind at least 100 45687 100,000,000 times a day.
Whether it’s his hugs, or his talks, or looking through photos of him, or re-reading the letter he left me or desperately trying to remember what his voice sounded like, he is always on my mind.
When I’m sad about something, I remember my Papa, because I’d always go to him for advice and he would always make things better, and when I’m happy I remember my Papa because he’s the person I’d always go to share my good news with.
The best way to describe losing a parent is comparing it to a storm. Like a calm before the storm, my home was full of faces with brave smiles, people giving tight hugs and constant dua’s being read in my Father’s name.
When my Papa took his last breath, the storm begun. People never like to get caught in a storm, they usually watch from their windows, not wanting to be a part of it, but not wanting to miss a second of it either. After a few hours, people get tired of watching the storm and so get on with their own lives. For those who watched it happen, it becomes a topic of conversation amongst one another for a few months, but after that, it’s barely spoken about. It’s old news now.
For my Mum, my siblings and I, the storm has never ended. In fact, if anything it’s stayed the same, the only difference is, we’ve managed to deal with it as a part of life.
A part of life we can’t change, but will always be present in our day-to-day lives, we can never run away from it.
In many ways, I feel losing my Papa is an experience on a shelf somewhere that confronts me sometimes. It’s something which carved the rest of my life.
We are all guilty of taking a lot of things for granted, whether that be the food on our tables or the latest technology or the endless clothes in our wardrobes, the most important thing we forget to be grateful for is, our parents.
Without them, we wouldn’t be here, without the sacrifices my Mum and Dad made for all four so us, we definitely wouldn’t be in the lucky position we are in now.
As my eldest sister and her newborn baby boy are preparing decorations for today, I can’t help but feel sad at how much my Dad is missing out on. I know I may not be able to hold his hand or hug him, but every step I take I know he is beside me.
Days go by where I can paint a smile on my face and carry on, but there are select days in thread where it stings a bit more than usual; Father’s Day, my Papa’s birthday, my birthday and the Anniversary of his death.
If you’re reading this and are lucky enough to still have both your parents, regardless of the relationship you have with them, say Alhumdulilah. Continue to say Alhumdulilah, because you’re so so lucky. If they tell you to do something, do it.
Constantly tell them how much love you have for them, because I dream of giving my Papa a hug and telling him I love him.
While many of you will be spending today with your family at home, my Mum and I will be visiting my Papa’s grave and laying down some newflowers.
I’m thankful to Allah (swt) for giving me 13 years full of beautiful amazing memories with my Dad that I will cherishforever. I had 13 Father’s Day with my Dad, you never know when your last moment with your loved ones will be, make sure every moment counts.
There’s one memory, I will never forget with my Dad. We were in the garden, walking back towards the house, when I turned around and said:
“You’ll visit me when you’re gone, right?”
“Betah, I’ll never stop”