The day my dad wrote his will

The day my dad wrote his will was a day of new beginnings. It was not only the beginning of the end for him, but for my life as I knew it. I knew he was planning for the inevitable before it’s too late, and I knew it was time for me to make a survival plan in a new world without him in it.

It was no longer an idea I had fondled with several times over the last few years. Every time I met him, I silently wondered, ‘Did he just get so much older since the last time I saw him or was I just imagining it?’ The reason why this thought is so scary for me is that I have no idea how to lead my life without him, even though I am a grown responsible adult living in a completely different corner of the world from him. I wish that in his will, he could transfer to me some of his immeasurable courage to face the world that I would be facing one day.

Just the last weekend my husband and I were enjoying a winter evening with our kids accompanied by a small bonfire and we instantly talked about how great it would be to have Dad here with us. We both knew how much he would have enjoyed being there in that moment, probably lit a few cigarettes from the fire, shared some old jokes and made the kids laugh to their hearts’ content. I wish that in his will, he could transfer to me some of his zeal for life.  

I have seen my dad go through thick and thin in his life without a single frown on his forehead. He has smiled through the darkest of times and his positivity has reverberated through my entire childhood. His attitude has made me into the positive person that I am today, and all who have been fortunate to know him can take inspiration from him. Even in a pandemic like this, when all families separated by geographical barriers pine to see each other in person, my dad seems to not miss anything. I know he yearns to meet his grandkids again, but never in any conversation with him would I feel as if anything is amiss. I wish that in his will, he could transfer to me some of his optimism.

My dad has gotten himself into trouble several times for his sense of humour, which has not been taken well by many. I, myself have fought and argued with him for saying this or that to my friends or their parents. But now, being among the only few people who truly get him, know that he can mean no harm and that the people who might have been offended would just not understand him. He has used this humour to lift me up so many times, made challenges seem easy and surmountable, made uncomfortable circumstances change, and made me look at life a little less seriously and so differently. I wish that in his will, he could transfer to me some of his humour.

Parents often write their will for their children to know what they want them to have after them. However, there is no way for us children to let our parents know, while they are here, what they can have. But I want my dad to have my word, before it’s too late, on how I will lead my life after him. In the same way as he has always talked to me as a friend and not shied away from any topic, when his time will come, I will gather the courage to talk to my children about their much-adored granddad through smiles. I will remember him in the happy and sad times and share his anecdotes with my kids so they can learn, remember and be proud of him, just as I have been throughout my life. They will see how lucky they were to be his grand-children and thank God every day for giving my Dad to them just as I do for blessing me and my life. I promise to lead my life with hope and enthusiasm as I have seen first-hand. Yes, life would be sad, and extremely boring without him, but like him, I will sprinkle my days with humour and love and think of him in every step I take.

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