Happy Birthday Dad…

ChickenReshmiKababs&MasalaTea

There’s no timetable to say you’re going grieving over a loved one.  And no one should feel an arbitrary amount of months or even years that it’s time to say you’re done.  I don’t know what being done is.  What I do know is…

Our parents don’t want us feeling sad all the time.  They would want us to live the best life possible, while they’re here and when it’s their time for the afterlife.

It was my dad’s time.

As much as I don’t like admitting that, it’s the truth.  My dad got sick over a year ago, and never could recover.  For some of us, the pain doesn’t that last that long.  It’s the pain of the children, the siblings, the aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and everyone in between and on the peripheral to feel and to come to terms with.

I’m still not sure if I’ve come to terms.   Not even five months later, it hurts but it’s a different kind of hurt.   I haven’t looked back on the two previous times I specifically wrote about my father (here and then here) right about the time he passed.  I’m not ready to look back and read them just yet.  Maybe I will with a fresher set of eyes down the line. So in some ways have I really come to terms?

SpiceXing

I can’t say for sure.  But what I can say is it only felt right, on his birthday and the first birthday without him (the holidays could be tough this year), to go back to our place, more so his place, Spice Xing, for a meal to honor him, honor his memory, and maybe bring some more peace to me.

I don’t recall a time that we didn’t have lunch buffet here.   Well things have changed, as that buffet is now only reserved for the weekends.   Well no big deal there.   The place was eerily quiet on this Monday afternoon, but I almost preferred it that way.

Of course on a day like this it’s grey, it’s rainy, and the sky is telling me something.  What that is, and what it may tell you are completely different things.  For many that might feel comforting.  Ordinarily, I would say it wasn’t.  But today it fit the mood.  If it was sunny and 80 degrees, I would say that would fit the mood.  But this was the mood and I’m grateful for that.

The last time I was actually here was the beginning of the healing process.  I’ll leave that to your own interpretation and speculation, as some things are better left unsaid.  But I’m forever grateful for the outpouring of love and support, that it will stay with me for the rest of my life.  I mean that.   It’s a once in a lifetime thing.  Literally.  It’ll never happen again.

ChickenReshmiKababs

But what can happen again is a lovely meal to honor a man who has helped shaped me and our family to be in the position to be where we are today.  If it wasn’t for him, I don’t know where I would be.  He was the man.  And he still is the man.  Hi dad, I hope you see this sometime.. Love you…

What actually never crossed my mind until including these photos was, is he sitting across from me?  That’s a cliche but well….

ChickenReshmiKababs&MasalaTea2

I did it different this time with the chicken reshmi kababs with a side of chana masala, salad, and naan bread.   Why kababs in an Indian restaurant?  Well why not.  Our background is Iranian, and we’ve had our share of kababs at many fine establishments in the area, and at home.  So I couldn’t think of a better meal to celebrate the best of all worlds.

My dad would just rather have the buffet.   And some of that naan bread too.  But I’ll get to that in a little bit.

MasalaTea

The masala tea was a gem and reminds me of simple black tea that my dad and I would share on a regular basis.   I could’ve ordered any beverage, but this seemed only right.  So I’m grateful to honor him within honoring him.  That makes me feel good.

MasalaTea2

I sat in a different spot, yet I had a view of where we used to sit.  We’ve sat in a lot of places, but this spot felt comfortable.  I had a view of where his photos and a candle were positioned several months back.

While I was in a familiar place, I still felt removed and detached from everything. There’s safety in that.  Even by coming to a place we’ve been going to for years, I felt relieved being away from everything else.  Maybe that’s another part of the healing and grieving process.

MasalaTea4

But today there really wasn’t much sadness.  Just like the week and days leading up to Father’s Day, I got so much out of me to the point of being physically exhausted and drained.  And now I know what it feels to have nothing left.  I feel transparent as I write this.  But more importantly I feel relieved.

I’m relieved that my dad is in a happier place.  Where that place is I don’t know.  But I believe he’s at peace and harmony with everything.  It’s what we wish for our loved ones when it’s their time to go and when they’re gone.  As heartbreaking as it sounds, it’s also so beautiful.

This is life.  This is death.  It’s good to cry, but it’s also good to be happy.  Our true family, our dearest friends, and love ones want only want the best for us.  They would sacrifice their own joy just so you can feel some.  My dad did that for everyone while he was alive, and maybe he did it when he was saying goodbye.  That’s the most beautiful and selfless act of all.

While I was sad on the days and eve of his birthday, that sense of sadness has turned into calm.  Maybe it’s numbness or maybe it’s something else.  Maybe I’m just tired.  Yet maybe it’s just the universe telling me I’ve handled enough and now it’s time to take a break, until the next phase of grieving.

I don’t want to think that far ahead, because I don’t know what even tomorrow will bring.

What I do know is I’m proud of my dad, and I miss him.  I love him.  And while I know his spirit is with me, and will always be with me, I’m starting to see a light. I’m starting to see hope, and starting to see that the best life is still in front of me.  My dad would want this for me.  Our parents would want this for us.

MasalaTea5

So I raise my cup and say salud, I say cheers, and I say I love you dad.

And next time I’ll be sure to pocket all the leftover naan bread and sneak out like a little kid in your honor… Ha!

I love you dad and Happy Birthday…

Your son,

Ideen

36 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Dad…

  1. Ideen – thank you for sharing about your father & this experience of honoring him. My papa passed 4 years ago & I still miss him every day. He had an October birthday, too. We still celebrate, like you, by going to his favorite restaurants or making his favorite foods. By remembering our fathers, the legacies of their lives cointinue in us. Much comfort to you & your family. 🌷🤗🌷

    p.s. As an avid tea groupie, I always look forward to your amazing blog posts!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think this is how we all feel when we loose someone close, but you described it in detail and honored your father and his memory in a way that means so much to both of you. Your father will always be by your side, since as you said helped shape you and your family to be good people and be in the position you are today. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting your father throughout the years, he was a saint and always had a smile on his face. Not only did you honor your father in the best way possible, but you made me want to try some of that naan bread also lol. Be strong brother…..

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Continuing positive vibrations and peace your way. Thanks for sharing your father and your relationship with us. While I loved my father dearly, we didn’t express love and we didn’t have a place of our own. Well, I could drop in on him around the corner at the Golden Corral. Blessings, Darryl

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ideen,

    For anyone who knew or ever met your dad, your sorrow and beautiful tribute on his birthday really hits home. He WAS and still IS the man! Miss him dearly at any gathering, but we all know he lives through amazing memories he left for all of us. Men like him, especially in this day and age, are rare to come by. He was honest, fair, kind-hearted and loved his family. He was always proud of his boys and I’m sure he’s proud today to read your tribute!

    Be strong! Love and hugs everyday.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A beautifhull well written piece that hit a strong chord with me. Five years on and I still miss her. When good or bad news comes to me I still, sometimes have the impulse to ring her and talk. You are correct in saying you will always miss him but you honor him and that is important. I agree , yourvDad was sitting with you as you had your meal, as he always will be nO matter what you do.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hello Ideen – This is my first time visiting your blog and now I want all the food and tea you mention – I browsed a bit. I am so sorry for the loss of your father, it is a tremendous loss. I believe grief is something that becomes a part of us, there is no getting over/under/through, you simply absorb it, bit by bit. I lost my father in-law and my own father this year so this resonates with me.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. That was beautiful. My father has been dead almost 25 years and I still have moments of grief. The more of a mark they made on you in life, the more you think about them even after death. Take heart. He’s still around. Just in a different form. ox

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This was a lovely birthday tribute to your dad. I lost my dad just a few weeks ago. The sadness changes each day. Your writing made me smile thinking of him and so many happy moments. Take care, suzanne 🌷

    Liked by 1 person

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