Isn’t it amazing how the small and insignificant details of a big day stick around in your memory after many years?
Today marks 16 years since my father passed away and that day in 1999 always remains fresh in my mind. In fact most of the week leading up to his death stands out.
The things I remember about the day of his death play on a loop in my head at this time every year.
It was the 15th day of Ramadaan and the people coming to me and mom to pay respects were obviously fasting. Fasting breath is real, guys. Knowing my dad, he would have had some jokes about that.
I had a lovely pink floral maxi dress that I wore under my abaya when I went to visit my dad at hospital that night. I think I only changed out of it the next day after the janaaza. I don’t think I wore it again after that.
I remember the food my mom cooked for iftar the night before he died. It was steak and it may have been delicious as my mom’s food always is but needing to be at hospital by his was more of a priority than eating lavish food.
The house was under going renovations and so we had the janaaza at my uncle’s house next door. Wow, I’ve just realised he never got to see the completed kitchen. He was so excited about giving my mom her dream kitchen that it makes me sad he didn’t get to see it or even enjoy it for himself. He loved working in the kitchen.
The thing that stands out most in the lead up to his death is that I never thought he would die. Not then. Not when I was only 14. To me, he seemed invincible. He was my very own hero and protector. Like he could always beat the odds. Because he always did. He always came home from his frequent hospital stays. Until that day when he didn’t and my world changed forever.
I think he’d be proud of how me and mom have managed – especially mom. She’s such a trooper in the face of any adversity that comes her way. She’s an inspiration to me. Both my parents inspire me to be the best I can be. If I can be half as good as they are I think I’ll be OK. No, I know I will be.
I’ll always have you in my heart, Daddy.