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America, December 18, 2004

I Miss You Dad

A year later, the pain is still there.

the Vota family
The Vota Family

Its been a year since you left us. Year since I felt your touch, heard your voice. A year. 365 days that have not passed without me thinking of you. Or, actually thinking of your death. More than any other, your passing reminds me that my own life is limited. That I too will die one day. That this amazing life is just a moment, if that, in time. I am year older, Dad, but still scared.

White-knuckle, cold-sweat, heartbeat-skipping scared of death.

I love life, really I do. I remember once having a 'what would change if you could' conversation on a date, and I couldn't think of anything I really wanted to change. Nothing that mattered anyway. What can I say? I work hard to be happy.

Amazingly hard, as my friends can attest. I am always on the go, 18 hours a day on the go. Never stopping, never stilling, never wasting a second. You wanna know why? Cuz I am so scared that I will miss something that a moment will pass that I don't savor. I see death coming and I wanna get as much in this life as I can.

Your death only propelled me harder to enjoy every second. 2004, damn, this is a year of good times and fun living. Did you see my post last week, where my housemate found me passed out in a laundry bin? Yeah, I know you'd laugh at that one. I know you'd be quick to top that story with one of your own drunk-a-thons. You just might have lived even higher a life than my own.

At 31 weren't you bouncing your young son on a knee in Fiji? With a hottie wife proud to be by your side? Can't say I have either of those. I do have other prides, other successes, so I feel good about my progress.

And now I am finally feeling good about my progress on your passing. Today I slept till 2pm. Lazily snoring a beautiful Saturday away. What once would've racked me with guilt, so much daylight wasted, I let pass. Then I remembered the date and thought about you. I re-read my posts on your passing.

Yes, I still cry. I still can't read any of it without breaking down, unable to read through the tears. I still miss you dad, every day. Now I'm gonna wipe away the tears and call Mom. We, the living, gotta keep on going.

I love you Dad.

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It must be so hard for you, and you must miss your Dad so much, especially this time of year. Hell, it's going on my third Christmas without my Dad, and it still isn't easy. And reading what you wrote, I'm crying now too. Know that while the pain never completely disappears, it does subside, bit by bit, over time. We're just not wired to keep holding on to the worst of it. In the meantime, all you can do is keep breathing, and live your life, the best you can, to honor his memory (not that I or anyone else needs to tell you that). You will get through this.

Often when we think of dying, we think of losing the "little I," or the ego, along with all of the things that we've constructed in connection with the ego. The stronger the ego is, the greater our fear of death is. However, if the ego has already been abandoned during life, when we face death, we may find ourselves asking "Death, where is thy sting?"

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.

Wayan, you make me laugh when I'm really low. Make me feel the way you wanna me feel. But Sweetheart, when it comes to writting about your Dad, my God! I can't stop tears rolling down my cheeks.

To me, it is really unfortunate that you were born alone, otherwise you'd have shared that load with your other siblings and maybe the pressure would not have been so much on you. But then all is God's plan. What if you were not born, where could we have got you? The person who really makes my day!

Wayan, you do not need to ask yourself how, You just do it by being yourself. You are a Talent yourself! Yes, it is hurting' your beloved parent died, but then you should always remember that there is someone who made him have you. And that person took him where we don't know. Do we? No we don't know for sure. Wayan, before you were born, did you know that you were going to have such wonderful, brilliant, etc, etc, Sweet parents?

To be perfectly honest with you, you just found yourself in this sweet and sour world[not sauce]we are living in. We are living in this world like passengers. We are in a train. There is a Driver driving us to different distination. Your Dad reached his destination, and nothing we other passengers could have done to stop him from going where he was going. There in the wagon we are seated, seeing things happening and the Driver is driving!

But what to do? Such is the life we tend to forget that it very short and sweet. Why can't we make use of it wisely so that we can live long like your dad? I at times regret why I came to know you. You are someone that I feel I can't live harmonly without hearing from. Check the distance, race, . . . . . to mention but a few. But all in all we have to accept the reality. Death is beyond man's controll.

That's why I tell people to TRY[though not easy] to be happy when they are still alive. But again the waves we find in life are so disgusting that they tend to divert us from the chapter. But then, we have to carry on. Life is like that. Wayan, you really know where my Dad is.

And I hope you still remember how I told people without knowing, that I prefered my Mum to have died instead of Dad. God helped me my Mum was not there but it was during those first few hours after the sad message, anything be it hard or hidden comes out when sobbing, and you realise it afterwords. But still, such is life. Isn't it?

Therefore Wayan, be strong young man. Be strong Sweetheart. Your Dad died yes, but to me I still believe that these people don't go completely away from us. They are still with us in another form. Honestly, I feel my Dad is still with me because whenever something disturbs my mind and I just say; I wish my dad was here, he'd have helped me. The following day, I just get through it. Something that was hard for me! It's amazing.

So Wayan, Your Dad is with you though you don't see him. Talk to him, he'll answer you. Please, be his example, we want to you to reach his age when you are still shining like him. Your Mom expects much from you. Never make her regret. Never feel low infront of her. Make her more stronger because as per now, you are her everything. Please, give her hope and courage. I know you make her day, don't you? Keep her smiling, it will help make her look more younger. Thank the almighty that you still have your beautiful, brilliant and sound Mum. She's cute!

Again, pray for your Dad[as we are also with you]so that God may keep him on His right hand side, until you find him there. We love you Wayan, and pray that you become your Dad's image in everything. Let me give you a flashback. I had stayed long[morethat 12years]without visiting my Dad's family and relatives because of some reasons which I eventually overcame. Then went there for burial.

It was my uncles' first wife, and they had separated imediately after their first daughter who is now 36 years old. She is there with you anyway. My Uncle was not around, he lives in the south of our CONTINENT. Anyhow, as you know our place, hm! ! ! ! I had to foot everything starting from buyiong even food that was in their gardens for the last party of the deceased. It came out to be a big party because cows and goats also had to breathe their last breath!

Now since they were not together by the time of her death, some of the old people in both our family and theirs started grumbling that we burry her at her fathers place. I resisted but took me alot of 'fuel'to come to the consensus. Then people who last saw me when I was still young started crying when they saw all that I was doing because I'm the last born and my elders are like'mind your own business. '

People sterted crying again for my late dad, saying that I just do what my dad used to do. And that not oly that, I just resemble him only that I 'm what you know wayan. Ok? Now all this flashback I've just given you is to let you know that we children, we should always build, start from where our parent stopped.

We should do more and more and more so that we keep their names existing. Not using them in our signitures only. How many people will see your signitures? But your actions will always speak out your Dad's name loudly. Once again, stand up Wayan, be strong, be a man. Take your fathers responsibility.

And with that, we shall be proud of you Boy! God bless you.
Regards to mum.

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