Oh Daddy Dear You Know You’re Still #1

1466216577500By Puja

I have a confession: I love Korean Dramas. A few years ago, it got out of control. I never left my room on the weekends because I was binge watching K-Dramas (I lost 10 pounds one month). One of the things I love about these dramas is the father-daughter dynamic: A doting father, a devoted daughter and little poignant moments that show they share a deep and loving bond that transcends all the other…well drama around them. And daddy-daughter angst gets me right in the feels. Right. In. The. Feels. Every single time.

Why? I often feel that I am a terrible daughter. I wrote about feuds before, and the one I am most ashamed of, and will be until I leave the mortal realm, is the one I had with my dad. I don’t know why I kept it going as long as I did, just know that I was a brat who believed in spite more than forgiveness. My father and I are too much alike maybe. We are irascible, stubborn, and love to test each other’s intellect. I spent a lot of time pushing him away from me. And in doing so, I know I hurt him. Thinking about it now I am consumed with guilt that probably will not be assuaged without time-traveling to make things right. I deserve it. The punishment fits the crime; I am sorry dad.

The other wonderful odes to the dads in our lives talked about the lessons learned from our husbands and/or fathers and how important they are to us, and I endeavor not to break that trend. My father has been unexpectedly hospitalized for the last four weeks. During this time, with him often looking like a baby bird, I obviously thought about my dad a lot. Trying to recall every memory ever of him and wanting to pin them down so I never forget them. I am humiliated to report that now with the benefit of time, and adulting, the memories I once hated and were embarrassed by now seem to be endearing and mirthful. Oh time, you bitch. Also during this time I got to hear stories about my dad and all the nice things that people have to say about him. Which is always a good thing, to hear that someone you love and cherish is beloved by others as well.

So what were some of the things people said about my dad? And this is not even going to be a humble-brag. This is straight up bragging: my dad is a kind, generous (and sometimes overbearing) intellectual who loves to learn, takes the time to talk to the people he meets, loves to laugh, is a man who is seen as epitomizing physical strength, has an adventurous spirit, tries to spread positivity, doesn’t care what people think about him, and believes that everyone should strive to be happy in life.

What was it like growing up with this person? Well not easy. I went to the same primary school as my dad (shout out to Rousillac Village Presbyterian School) and when people found out I was his daughter, I was asked ‘are you as smart as your dad?’ My father brought us to America so we can have better opportunities than Trinidad could give us. With five kids and working two jobs, he finished college in three and a half years during our first six years in this country. How do I top that?  Errr…

I did that weird thing where my parents never pressured me, but that lack of pressure made me think ‘oh there is no pressure, because they -by default- expect great things.’ When I wasn’t as great as I wanted to be, I assumed they were disappointed.  I have spent a great deal of my life showing myself, my dad, and the world that I can be as smart as him; but the bar was set high early on. Really high. And if I never rise to his level of esteem, I hope we at least get to fill up our memories with [Korean Drama style] father daughter moments. I love you dad, I am proud to be your daughter. I hope to be a better one. Happy Father’s Day! [Heart Emoji]

Things Keeping Me Sane This Week: The memory that inspired the graphic this week is keeping me sane. My siblings and I recently recalled what our Dad used to say to us EVERY NIGHT before going to bed (you know, before we became ‘bratty American teenagers’ who could not be bothered with night time routines).

Us: Good Night.

Dad: Doh-doh. Nightie nightie. Love-ah you. Plenty, plenty.

I honestly had tucked it far back in my memory, we ended up saying it to him as we left his hospital room one night. Make it a great father’s day people!

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