Today (Aug 9, 2019) is the one year anniversary of the passing away of my father.
As often as it usually happens with death in the family, no one really saw it coming. Perhaps, this was the blessing in disguise. It was around the period of one month after being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer that my father finally left this world. I take solace in knowing his period of suffering was considerably brief.
My father wasn’t a perfect man. He wasn’t the best father, but he most certainly wasn’t the worst. He taught me a great many number of things. I look fondly with the eye of a child upon all my early childhood memories where he was there. My father was a man of the world. He enjoyed movies and was always really nostalgic about when his own father used to take him to the movies regularly, a passion that was certainly a major part of his life. He was a fearsome Chess player, and I haven’t seen or heard of anyone who was able to beat him over a chess board. Although he didn’t have the most perfect accent, but my father spoke English, Russian and French with a decent proficiency. Having traveled most of the world, he was a man of unique perspective and quite often his worldviews stood out in conversations. He was a force of nature. His strength of character was something to behold. The man was made of sheer will and not much could dissuade him from a course of action. My father loved his children infinitely and he made countless sacrifices to advance our causes in life. I do not claim he was a saint or that his judgement was infallible, but it all stemmed from the right place, from a good loving, overprotective, and caring place. Although he was a man who could not and would never suffer fools, and it was hell to pay if he even thought you were thinking of saying something he thought was condescending, rude, a lie, or simply bullshit, he also was a person capable of immense acts of compassion and mercy.
We did not always see eye to eye, my father and I, but I have grown to understand him better since I had a son of my own. I read it a long time ago, not sure whose quote it was, but it said: “A man spends the former part of his life trying to understand his father, and the latter trying to understand his son.” I believe that I was able to understand the decisions my father had to take only when I became a father myself. There are too many things that I now have to say that simply echo in my ears with the sound of my father. I get it now. I understand his mannerisms a whole lot better now. I only wish I was able to tell him that.
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