Friday, 6 July 2012

Birthday Letter 2012

Where do I begin.

It's been one hell of a year since I last wrote to you.  So much has happened, and I'm not sure where to start.
It's been a year of lessons I guess. Tough ones, but necessary ones none the less, and I believe now more than ever that things tend to fall in place one way or another. Some ways more painfully, some ways more rudely awakening than others, some just magically I suppose. At many instances I really would have liked for you to be there. I think your insight would have been indispensable, then again, I think you were there.

There has been a real change in me. I don't know where to pinpoint it, I don't know where the beginning happened and I'm pretty sure the end is not that near. There is something in me that has changed. I am more of myself. More at peace with my mind, my heart, my soul. I feel that of the many paths that come up day to day, I have patiently and serenely chosen the ones that lead to dark dismal places, that take me away from what I know is where I should be going, wherever that may be, whatever that is, and blocked them off one by one. My head is less scattered, I now know that when my being is haywire, I am doing something wrong, or at least something is wrong, and I need to change it.

Perhaps that's why I'm at peace.

I found my footing again. I don't know where that takes me, but I'm no longer doubtful that I'm getting there on steady feet.

I've become more patient. (I can see your face as I write that. Yep. Me. Patient)
It's one of those things that have changed in me. I'm not sure how or why, sometimes I think it's because a part of me has given up on slamming my head against walls and worrying. I surrender to whatever must be, making sure before I do that I've done what I can to ensure that when I place my head against my pillow at night, I'm at peace. Part of that is sad, because part of it was truly me giving up. Simply put.
Then again, I guess when those dark thoughts subside, I find that it's just a matter of me walking the path, not worrying where it goes. It'll go somewhere worth going as long as I step steadily. Right?

A lot of new friends have entered my life this year too. And I wish you could've met them, I think they would have loved you, and you them. I always get a little hiccup in my throat when I find myself saying "I wish you'd met my dad", or "My dad would've had something to tell you about that!" or simply "My dad would've loved you."
My curiosity drowns me when I think of that. Perhaps also because I would have liked to get your impression on them, to read your face.

But I think you'd be proud of what I am now. Where I am, at least in some aspects. My mind is more focused, or at least has cut away a lot of what was weighing it down. And when I do what I must, as painful as it sometimes tends to be for me, I have a silent voice, a faded image, a nod of approval in the back of my mind. All yours. And it helps me know I've taken a step in the right direction.  I had lost myself somewhere along the way in the past few years, but now I'm closer to being me than I ever was. And I wish you could be here to confirm that somehow.

The football was going on recently. And being at Brick's watching a lot of the games, I noticed how a friend of mine would always end up watching the game with his father. It didn't get to me till one of the last games was on. I think it was just the sight of his father walking in, and my friend being in the corner, having saved him a seat, calling him over. Something about them finding each other and having a place to sit I guess that is meaningful in some sappy soppy hypersensitive way. One of those things that comes to me, you know.
It was then I wished we had something like that. You weren't really into football, you had the boxing thing. Man, how mum and I would wonder how someone like you, against mindless physical violence, could enjoy such a "sport". But I remember when I asked you once, semi disgusted as the sight of a boxer having his lower jaw punched so hard I swore it wrapped around his neck. You answered something along the lines of how it was not the violence that you enjoyed, but that it was a "smart" sport, boxers studying each other's moves, a game of wit and swift dance. Knowing when, where, how to hit. A physical chess, yes granted, with sweat and blood. However you managed to explain, it was a good answer, and although I would flinch every once in a while, I no longer complained when you were watching.
Maybe we could have the boxing thing. A bar, a beer, and the boxing.

I went to the office recently. I've decided to use a room to work in. One of the things I'm doing to try and keep focused.
I  can't lie, I thought I'd take it with a heavier heart than I did. It didn't make me sad. But I walked lightly, rediscovering it again through new eyes, looking for you in a new way so you could be my companion there in a new way.
Thanks for helping me find the switch for the air conditioning by the way. You know how I am with heat.

Otherwise, things are moving. Things are going. I keep saying it, but perhaps I can't help be happy that I feel I'm going the right way, or at least not the wrong way anymore. Mama and I are better. We have our slips, but she has been so supportive at certain times this year, and I am grateful for that. She is slowly finding the right ground to reach me, and I am slowly trying to be better at taking it too.  That too is going more or less on a better path.

I miss you differently this year.
Yes, I wish you were around. But I don't find myself wishing it naively. I don't get weepy at the idea of your loss. I just, miss you I suppose. And it annoys me that I have to focus sometimes to hear your voice the way it was. But it's still there.

Although July loomed at me in the distance this year, and I could see it creep up on me sadly, it once again passes with grace.
I wish you a happy birthday baba.
Till next year.

I love you so very very much.


Bintak Karma

Birthday Letter 2011
Birthday Letter 2010
Birthday Letter 2009


S.Mallat said...


This is a beautiful message to your father and avenue to review your year through his eyes (though I know it's meant to be more of the former than the latter), and it really testifies to the power of writing as a healing mechanism.

I find it extremely self-sacrificing and brave that you are willing and open to share these messages with the rest of the [internet] world, even though I'm certain that's not your motivation. I, personally, find it very cathartic to read this particular message every year, and know that you are still reaching out to him, that he is still very much a part of your being, soul, and mind, when it is so much easier to try to stifle the memory and say 'hey, it is what it is', as some of us tend to do.

Thank you for this. It means a lot more to people who have lost a parent than you will probably ever know (or at least to me).

Natalie said...

Absolutely beautiful.

Mohammad said...

It's always great to come back here. Keep on changing. Don't let anything hold u up.

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