10 March 2010

DD’s dad

My dad was born this month. He was a cool type of guy, eccentric and hugely intelligent. He achieved so much in his life but made so many mistakes. Those were his mistakes. Mistakes for us to learn from, to then teach our children to not make.
As I grow older I find that I make my own achievements, my mistakes, not yet as big as his achievements and mistakes, but all mine. None similar to his. I know I don’t have his brilliance, which my older siblings do, but they too make their own achievements and mistakes.
His achievements give me courage. My siblings and his achievements I use to motivate and educate my child. My achievements compared to theirs are shallow, but some good enough to motivate my child. Ensure that she learns from the mistakes of her immediate and extended family.
My dad’s dead now, for a long time.
What I remember of him the most was that he was an incredibly kind and patient man. Honestly, he has never raised his voice or hand at me, that kind of patience in a father is incredible.
I never learnt from his mistakes, it scares me that with the whole world in the palm of her hand, my child will still make mistakes like all of us. My child however is blessed with the same intelligence of my father and my siblings. That’s good.
I used to think how much I am like my mother, not my dad. Now as I grow older, more and more, I am like my dad.
When I was fifteen, I was really small. My mother of all people would mock my size. So any bar I could hang on, I would do pull-ups on. By the time I was seventeen I reached 6 foot. My circle of friends increased, I hung out with some of the rugby players in college, I played for fun, my best friends in the first 15. My personality was such that I had friends everywhere; somewhere down the line I became a thug. It was because two of my friends had fathers who were actual tough guys, and they would love having me around, for they sensed that recklessness in me, appreciated it.
This worried my father, and he was scared for me. So he thought it best that he sends me abroad. This was the biggest mistake he made, and I.
He’s gone now. I miss him everyday, very much like that first love you still think of occasionally.
No. I think of my dad everyday. I wish we had more time and I wished he didn’t let me go; maybe I should have been not so reckless and he would have let me stay.
So it’s my dad’s birthday in March and I am proud for him. Wherever he is I hope he knows that I miss him very much. I honestly hope I have learnt from his achievements and mistakes to ensure that maybe just maybe my child will not miss me as much.
Happy Birthday Dad, I love you, I miss you. I wish I could have been a better son when you were alive, I wish we had been friends.
Your biggest gift to me I enjoy now. You were never afraid to lose everything. You had everything but yet nothing to lose. Material happiness, love for your family, all of it like you I will too leave behind when it’s my time. Like you I do what I want, sometimes at huge cost, but whenever I stare at the mirror in the morning, I look in confidence, I see you, a man who lived by his own rules, celebrated his achievements and embraced Valhalla where Vikings go to die. I too have nothing to lose.
It’s cold here now dad, coldest winter that England has had for sometime. Early morning when I am scraping ice off the car shivering in minus temperatures, I take courage by thinking of you. When the man in the tube bumps hard into me, the woman in the store does not look me in the eye, when I am now the invisible migrant, I always think of you, and I take courage. I am brave, I am your son.

Most of all, wherever you are now, I wish you the best and the blessings of the triple gem.

Happy Birthday! 


santhoshi said...

Take care DD
Your dads blessing will always be with you!

santhoshi said...

Take care DD
Your dads blessing will always be with you!

thusitha said...

First of all your siblings are not so much more bright as you, definitely not your oldest. You and I are the same. I think circumstances were tougher for the oldest than the youngest, so I learnt very early on in life to go after whatever I want with more seriousness of purpose than you. Things were easier for you as a child than for me, so you did not develop that hunger for achievement as early as I did. I developed it very early. I learnt it from the best, our father Percy.
I am what I am today because Percy taught me the fundamental lesson of outright, unbridled, and total fearlessness to go after I want. I still do. That is why I thrive in these harsh environments like Afghanistan and Sudan.
Percy and I were absolute buddies. He was also buds with all my friends. I miss him tremendously. But you know what, he is not dead because every time I look at our grandson Raphael, I see Percy. You open a picture of Raphael right now and look at his eyes, and you will see Percy in the mischief, the chutzpah, the confidence, the love for life, the humour and the sense of adventure that you see in his eyes.
Oh, by the way, I love you very much just as he did.

thusithadp said...

First of all, your siblings are not so much brighter than you, especially not the oldest. We are the same. The only difference is that as the oldest things were tougher for me than for you. So very early on in life, I learnt to approach everything with more seriousness of purpose than you. I was hungry for achiement like Percy, which you acquired later in life than me.
I am what I am today because he taught me something very early in life - go after what you want and do not give a shit for anyone. He was the epitome of the Nike slogan, Just DO it. This is why I still thrive in harsh environments like Afghanistan and Sudan. I just DO it.
We were buddies. Even my friends were his buddies. He was forever young.
But you know what, he is not dead, because everytime I look at our grandson Raphael, I see him. If you don't believe me, open a picture of Raphael now and look at his eyes. They have the same brilliance, spark, humour, love, courage, and fearlessness that was Percy.
Oh, by the way, I too love you very much, just like Percy did.

cj said...

DD you should write a story about what happened when you were sent abroad. I am sure it will be interesting reading. Consider it a request.

ViceUnVersa said...

CJ, if I ever write about my wonderul odyseyy in the US, my siblings will disown me!

Lady divine said...

Happy b'day uncle.

This post touched me....

I'm sure he's proud of you now..:)

and yes, do tell us about your US story!!!:) I obviously know nothing!!

ViceUnVersa said...

Oi LD, I hope you didn't just call me 'uncle'? I am D even to my eldest niece who is 29 now!

My time in America is now a closed book expect of course for the others who studied there with me. A bit of deductive work on FB you can find who they were. BUT THE BUCK STOPS THERE.

I didn't change for America, America changed for me! Thats good enough...

ViceUnVersa said...

Thanks everybody for your thoughts.

My siblings are far more intelligent than me, the eldest has a masters from Brandeis in International Development. The second is a professor and did her post doc at the Scripps Institute in San Diego. The third is a Doctor and has a law degree to boot...

I won't even start about the absolutely brilliant kid and my other nephews and nieces. Or my B-I-L's.

I do believe however some or most of the arrogance and pride I am attributed for more or less is because of them.

I just got stunning good looks from my mothers side of the family!

ViceUnVersa said...

PS: CJ, my dad made a lot of life changing mistakes in my absence, I believe that my presence in SL would have ensured that he did not make them.

As for the US, machan my life defining years were spent there. When I returned I found that I did not belong anywhere. I still call it as it, as the Americans do. It worked there, not in SL. But most of all I developed a love a love for just seeing everything in the world. Older now and a citizen of another mothers country, quality of life somehow matters more, and in retrospect I believe that I would have been better if I had finished higher education in SL. When I finished my A/L's I had two immediate options. To join the garment trade as a management trainee or become a pilot in the air force. I chose neither;
And here I am!

It's funny how I have known you for so long, and yet I still find it easier to write about myself on the www!

santhoshi said...

why did ld call u uncle? :P

Lady divine said...

I called you dad uncle!!! haiyo

ViceUnVersa said...

Not to worry LD, I am actually a grand uncle, and already DD seeya!

Lady divine said...

I actually meant to say 'I called your dad uncle'...:)

oh well.... see ya seeya! ;)