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Do not cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.

My dad would have celebrated his 69th birthday tomorrow. Actually, that is not true. We would have celebrated. He would have just played along good naturedly.

He was the kind who celebrated life every single day.

"Thaaank you my dear," I can hear him say in his deep voice, as I call to wish him.

His positive attitude, zest for life, his deep empathy for others , his ability to be like a rock, his tall stature (he was 6 feet), his love for driving, the superb way he could handle a car, a bike and finances too, his ability to laugh with us, even when we pulled his leg, his love for long walks , fitness and exercise, the endless debates and discussions I had with him, his teaching me to skim throw a stone, his teaching me and my brother to swim, his playing frisbee with my brother and me on the beach, the 'general knowledge' quiz questions he used to ask us , his love for western movies, his very practical nature, his go-getting ability, his genuine love for people and his ability to make good friends with every single person he met (and the way they confided in him and opened up to him), his uncanny sense of knowing what I was feeling even when I was hundreds of miles away from him, his love for the occasional whisky (and he never once got drunk) and occasional cigarette too, the marvellous way he could write (yes, my dad has written many short stories ), his love for nature and dogs and above all, the way he so effortlessly became the best dad a daughter could ask for--these are the things I remember most about him. They are fresh in my mind as though they happened yesterday. And yes--the photos are of me as a child and him.

It has been three years now but I still miss him deeply. You would think it gets easier with time. It doesn't. You just learn to hide it better.

Happy birthday to my dad. In me, he lives. His spirit, I celebrate.

I know this poem would have immensely appealed to him too.


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 glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

---Mary Elizabeth Fraye

Comments

  1. So true. I can relate to what to say. My parents would have celebrated 31st wedding anniversary the day after my dad was alive. I miss him a lot but i know he is around and just that i cant see him.
    Happy birthday to your dad !

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  2. Hey Preeti...He was always very proud of you and I remember with fondness his visit to my home ( was on of the first visitors) when we just got married.

    As you said he was always positive!and shall be!

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  3. Awesomeee Preeti! Lovely poem.. And even I was planning to write a post on my Dad, kept putting it off.. but after reading this I got to do it now...

    And ur really lucky to be his daughter. I wish I met this great man!

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  4. Oh and Happy Birthday to u!!! And I guess he is actually alive. Ur happily married with 2 kids, still u speak so fondly about ur Dad. That just means that he has done everything right. He has earned ur love, that speaks for itself. Good luck Preeti!

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  5. awww..Preeti, this is such a lovely post. brought tears to my eyes.

    happy birthday to your dad! and to you

    isn't that such a beautiful poem?

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  6. Suma: Amazing poetry right? Somehow I feel people whose dads are still alive--they should really value each moment.

    Pointblank: For once I am at a loss for words. I dont know what to say..except thanks so very much.

    Vinoo: Very true--do you remember Interview training that he did for both of us?

    Chitra: i think the spouse who gets left behind feels the maximum impact more than adult kids--dont you think? We at least have our little children who still need us.

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  7. Hugs,PS!! Your dad IS really proud of you, and will be, for you are such a wonderful daughter to him!!

    Best wishes to get his short stories published!!

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  8. And that was a very deeply meaningful poem!!

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  9. All the best for getting your dad's work published Preeti, that will be a great tribute to him.. I have read you mentioning about missing your dad so many times.. I really wish he was alive today. I never realized the impermanence of life as deeply as i did last year when dad had a tragedy and got operated.. Its one year now and to see him recover is so so comforting...

    Happy B'day uncle, we should still celebrate the bday you know, preeti, for he is always going to be with you in spirits..

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  10. Thats a beautiful poem! For once I dint even bother to check the name of the author thinking it was you. If she hadnt written this im sure u would have :). Like someone said above you are keeping him alive through your blog and Im sure he feels proud too to have a daughter like you!

    Yes the better halves feels the most pain I must say...but with a daughter like you they might be able to muster some strengh. Take care and a very happy birthday to this wonderful dad!

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  11. Very touching. He is for sure a very happy soul. Happy birthday to him

    The poem gave me goosebumps.. everytime I read it. Lovely one. The idea behind it is.. wow!

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  12. and the pics :) thanks for sharing those precious moment!!

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  13. Loved the title of this post! Very meaningful indeed. This post says a lot about the beautiful relationship you shared with your father...I wish every little child could have the same.

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  14. A very touching post Preeti...And I just love the middle pic...the way both of u are staring into the camera...priceless :)

    Your dad is definitely alive through you - the wonderful person that you have turned out to be.

    Best birthday wishes to him.

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  15. just wiped a little teardrop off my eye.
    your dad did so many things my dad does, i guess we're both lucky girls! :)
    i've been only getting enough time to go through the names of your posts in my reading list! exams, i tell you!
    but this one was just so heart rending!
    i'm glad you are a part of the world. And in a way, my world too :)

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  16. n happy birthday to your dad!
    he'll live forever! :)

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  17. Preeti,
    thanks you for sharing this with us. It is truly inspiring, and i hope we are able to live at least some of ur dad's qualities. Wherever he is, i' sure he's very proud of you :).

    aparna.

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  18. Touching post PS ! And what an absolutely lovely poem!!

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  19. We all die. You, me, and every other person who are reading this (and of course those who don't read this, as well). But what matters is what difference we make to others' lives. I don't know anything about your father, except what you've written there. But that's sufficient, I guess, to understand what difference he made to your life, and to people around him.

    May peace and joy prevail in your life.

    Best Wishes
    Neo

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  20. You would think it gets easier with time. It doesn't...........
    Absolutely true.
    Thoughts and memories keep popping up at the most unexpected times.

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  21. First of all - a big warm hug for you. As the lovely poem says - he is everywhere around you! :-) Wishing your dad a wonderful birthday and hope he has a terrific time up there watching you all have a ball. :-) Beautiful post and I felt a lump in my throat which I shoved down because your title said it all! And lovely pictures - you haven't changed much since then ... :-)

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  22. A thoughtful, touching and beautiful post with your specially cherished pictures, Preeti. Warm hugs to you. You have all the lovely qualities of your dad too.
    Kind Regards,
    gayu

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  23. What a beautiful, touching post! I felt tears in my eyes. Every line in that poem had such beautiful meaning.

    I hope your dad is watching over you and proud of you. I am sure he knows how deeply you miss him, God bless. Happy B'day to him.

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  25. wow - this is a very moving n touching post!

    The pictures are priceless....and how you describe him....its just amazing!

    I feel the same way for my dad, and I speak to him and mom every single day.

    And, your dad and I share our birthdays.....will always remember him on my birthday from now on :

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  26. I had tears in my eyes when I read the poem.. n can relate to every single work.. for me just 1.5 years n I have changed from someone who had everything to someone who has nothing..last year dad n now mom too..i know it doesn't get easier with time, just that I hope I can hide it better :)

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  27. Such a beautiful & moving post Preethi....U've written many posts about ur relationship with ur father but this somehow is different.....this focusses on the happiness while he lived instead of the sadness that he passed away. Maybe I'm wrong....if yes then I hope I didnt offend u.

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  28. I'm such a dodo sometimes....just saw the title now:-)

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  29. A very Happy Birthday to your Dad! And a very moving poem by Ms. Fraye! Absolutely loved it!

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  30. Hi PS,

    As I read your blog, I remembered how it all started, your blog that is --- it started as an ode to your father and it continues to be an ode to the one man who showed you the beauty of unconditional love.

    The blog has evolved in its own way over time from tears of sadness to tears of joy to tears of celebration.

    May it continue with his blessings.

    wishes,
    -em-

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  31. Sometimes you wish to leave a comment, but you are so tangled up with the rushing thoughts in your head - you don't know what to say. This is one of those times.

    Thank you for sharing the pictures, and for showing us how wonderful your dad was.

    He left a mark on this world.

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  32. I am so very sure, ur dad is up in the heaven, reading this post [and the previous ones] ,smiling happily n beaming with pride about what a great success u are in life and more importantly about the great human u are! N as im sure that he is reading the comments as well.. Here is wishing him a Very Very Happy B’day !

    I’m not at all into poetry, but this one I was really able to appreciate. Its so simple n beautiful!

    PS:if it ll make u happy u shld anywez go ahead n bake a cake n make ur children cut it. Its an excuse to celebrate and im sure he will be happy about it too !

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  33. Pavi: :-) Thank you

    Only one: he sure did.

    EM: thank you so much.

    Tranquility: yes--superb poem. Thanks.

    Reflections : Thanks --you are right I guess. Had never struck me--and no i am not least bit offended. I feel happy to hear your words!

    Dhanya: Hugs.

    Shachi: i also used to speak to my dad every single day. And wishing you a very very happy birthday. All great people are born on Nov 18th :)

    Swapna: thanks so much for those very kind words.

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  34. Gayu:Thanks so much. Your words mean a lot

    Thoughtful train: :-) Only grown taller a bit I think :D

    Haddock: and sometimes they are such happy ones that one feels an overwhelming sadness as they can never happen again.

    Neo: Thank you so very much.

    Manoranjini:Thanks so much

    Sucheta: Touch wood!Good luck for you exams! and thanks so much!

    Pals world: thanks so much.

    Mini: i really wish so too.

    Shru: Thanks :) and yes--powerful words indeed.

    Fay: Your words have gone straight into my heart--thank you so very much.

    Tarabhatt: touch wood and may your dad have a long and healthy life.

    Savitha: yes--poem was indeed amazing.Thanks :)

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  35. Hi Preeti,

    A Happy Birthday to Kamath Mam...I am sure he is watching from heaven and must be really proud of his daughter. I remember very vividly the moments I have spent with him and he was always a great inspiration !

    You must have heard this one, but wanted to share this great number from Luther Vandross on this important day

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLuP-4ZEhOE&feature=related

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  36. The title is so so apt :)
    And you are right...the pain doesn't go. We simply learn to hide it behind other things we do. And people like him motivate us to become better people too. :)

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  37. Dads are so very special and this was such a lovely post. He must eb smiling and chuckling at all those wonderful memories.
    Happy Birthday to him!!!

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  38. i loved wat u wrote about jayannu & i too miss him most on this day. i too remember him everyyear on this day for both of us share the same day & we would compete with each other to wish the other "same to u ", for u never get to say that wen ur wished for ur bday. even today i would love to say " happy birthday jayannu".

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  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  40. hey Preethi,
    U r one lucky person... belive me it is indeed a gr8 thing that u had such a gr8 dad. A person who understood u so well, who loved u so much, who encouraged you so much and made u the strong and wonderful person/humanbeing that u r today...
    He is so happy now to see you and ur good life... He did right and its indeed a gr8 blessing, a rare blessing :) happy birthday to him, a gr8 man!!!
    Its not always that things get done the right way..Wish i could hav met him sometime in my life...

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  41. It must have been great to have a dad like that! doesnot happen to many. Look at you he has done a wonderful job in raising you! he must be really proud of you.

    That was amazing poetry , loved it! one of ur best post!

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  42. Poignant.

    One of the things I most fear in this world is the thought of not having the chance to give back to my father all that he poured into me. I know he never expects anything in return but still we have to, for our own sake.

    I was actually online when you made the post and I came rushing to be the first one to comment, but once I read it, something welled up andI couldn't think of an appropriate thing to say, for all I was worth. :|

    Really moved me. I guess that's the highest complement I can give you.

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  43. almost forgot, Bday to the dad who lives in all our minds.

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  44. Lovely post!! :)

    Reminded me of the first chapter of 34 Candies..

    Purvi looks exactly like you ...beautiful pictures!

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  45. Preeti,

    :-) You brought tears to my eyes! I heart your feelings...no words can compensate your dad! But he is a proud father....

    Purvi looks exactly like you when you were a child :-)

    God bless you....I never forget how wonderful and loving my parents are...EVER! I think of them everyday, in all my good and bad moments. They are my ray of hope when I am low! :) You made me really emotional.

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  46. What a beautiful post :)
    Happy birthday to your dad from me too.
    By the way, those are some really cute pictures!

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  47. Amen :)
    (The post before the poem almost ended like a prayer)

    Happy B'day to your dad and wishing you too glorious memories forever...

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  48. Happy bday to your dad! A very touching tribute.

    Only thought that occured to me as I read your post was .. I simply hate the fact that my parents are growing old :-(

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  49. Lostworld: yes..sad but true--everyone grows old.

    Sparkling: thank you.

    Bhavya:Thanks :)

    Pretty woman: Thank you --and touchwood for your relationship with your folks.

    Prakhar:Thank you--and smiling as you said purvi is just like me :)

    Srivats:Thanks so very much.

    Elamariachi: What matters is that you came back to leave a comment--thanks so very much.

    Enigma: yeah--he was a truly great guy.

    Leela: i know :( and hey--happy happy happy birthday!

    Prats: In spirit maybe.

    Meira:Yes--i guess they do.

    Torpedo: Oh yes--he was really fond of your parents too and he did feel very bad when your mom was ill.
    Thanks for the song..sadly I could not bear to listen :( Sadness was overwhelming :(

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  50. Whenever I read a post about your dad, there is a fear which rises within me. Its a fear of losing, and knowing that it is inevitable!

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  51. Aathira: Sadly it is :(

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  52. You spoke your mind and love in the post and you did it making us spellbound. I'm sure your dad heard that too with fatherly pride.:)

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  53. Lovely poem... Touched...

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  54. lovely post. totally relate to your feelings. I lost my father last year.I loved him in my own quiet way, never really expressed... And i have only regrets for not having tried to understand him better, always being critical of him, being extremely impatient with him at times....not knowing that he would just go one day without a warning. sometimes we take our loved ones so much for granted...thinking today if we crib there is always a tomorrow to make up. but the truth is there never might be a tomorrow.

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  55. Namita: You said it so well. U are very right.

    Mad blogger:Thank you and welcome to my blog!

    Holy Lama: thank you and welcome to my blog!

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  56. Very moving post this was. So many things our parents sacrifice for our happiness without expecting anything in return. Touched...

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  57. love the poem. remember that he is not here but still alive in your memories..:-)

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  58. yet another masterpiece...blog is worth readin...carry on..

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  59. The post struck a chord, and I may be unable to put it in writing
    It was like you were describing my father, and I lost his company 18 years ago :(

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  60. The post struck a chord, and I may be unable to put it in writing
    It was like you were describing my father, and I lost his company 18 years ago :(

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  61. Dear Preethy,
    You write so beautifully that you touch things very deep! You definitely have a gift in simple, subtle, sweet words...The poem at the end was too good...i am glad i came across your blog

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  62. Hey priti

    It was like someone giving words to what i have been feeling nd never had courage to pen down..
    best post i have ever read..
    Happy bday to ur Dad..

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  63. A belated Happy Birthday to him! I lost my father too. So I know how you feel. A very moving piece.

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  64. I have been reading your blog since yesterday night. Need I say what an awesome personality you come across as and so accomplished too.

    I'm sure your dad would have been very proud of everything you have acheived so far and will be blessing you with more success.

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  65. A very Happy Belated Happy Birthday to your Dad...:) & this one was really touching.. i too miss my dad... but i know he's around & you're an amazing daughter one your dad would be proud of .. :)

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