In loving memory of my Dad
Where do I begin? How do I start? No matter how hard i try, there are not enough words I can say to describe just how important my father was to me. Today, would be my first birthday, without my dad. My father was my hero, whom i looked up to. He was my encyclopedia. As a li'l girl - I believed, there wasn't a subject in the world, that he wasn't aware of. I was in awe, at his mental math skills, but dreaded the time he would tutor math for me. More than anything, there was an unconditional love for him; he always had a special place in my heart - not for anything he had done, but for just being my dad! I truly can't remember a time when i was mad at him, such was his fathering.
My dearest dad - Ilangovan Chockalingam passed away on - Feb 12th, 2014; at the age of 64, after losing his battle against IPF (Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis). He was diagnosed with IPF just a year ago. Just as, we were hoping that things would improve with the treatment & he was getting ready for a transplant, his health took a nosedive. None of us expected his life to end so soon, not even his doctors. Once all the rituals & ceremonies were over & we returned to our home; I was astonished, as to how our daily routine could go by as usual, as if nothing had happened! I had this nagging urge, to pause everything around me & grieve without any disturbance. It still feels like a bad dream, that will end soon & things would return to normal - but then, it hurts all over again when i realize, this is the way things will stay forever! Every time, I remember that he's no more - my heart gets a jolt. For the first time, I deeply regret being a teetotaler. It might have helped me vanquish this overwhelming anguish of grief.
Anyone who came to know him, was sure to have a liking & respect for him. He was a hard worker with solid work ethics, he was kind & helpful to everyone he knew, he never spoke ill of anybody, he had a positive outlook towards life & was optimistic even during his struggle with IPF. Even after there was no life left in him, he donated both his eyes & gave vision to total strangers. I'm so happy that my dad's eyes are still seeing the world & making someone happy. He held various high level executive positions in the Indian Railways during his career. His righteousness, ability to put others before himself, trustworthy nature & most of all his overwhelming patience were just a few of his good qualities. I was absolutely amazed at his ability to suppress restlessness and annoyance when provoked or confronted. I always wished, I had inherited more of his patience. Those are just a few of his traits, that attracted a lot of good friends everywhere he went.
My dad was a humble & quiet man, who kept to himself. He loved to travel & wouldn't miss an opportunity to visit a new place. Thanks to him, for tagging me along; I can now proudly say, that I have checked off numerous places on the map (of India). They say, actions speak louder than words - his actions, are all what my memories are filled with. The strong & firm handshakes, the warm hugs that welcomed me into his arms, that meant so much to me. The kiss on the cheek - goodbyes. I hadn't truly realized what a huge pillar of support he had been in my life, until he was gone. One of the roots have been ripped apart from my family tree & it hurts to see your roots die......
I was lucky to have the presence & blessings of my grandparents, through high school, college, higher studies, employment and my wedding. All four of them, even managed to see my first child & have a chat or two (in Gibberish) with him. But, what about my kids? They have lost their Grandpa, at the tender age of 2 and 8!!! Will all they have, be a faint memory of him, from his pictures and stories; that I will keep alive, long after he is gone? Or will they still remember him, for what he was - a playful, loving & caring grandpa?