The 28th of January 2004...the day my dad passed away.
I remember staying up days and nights beside his bed waiting for the moment he'd wake up from his coma... I remember wanting to hear his final words not realizing that he already spoke them a month before.
I remember not being able to reconcile with the fact that his body was too powerless to lift him to go to the bathroom or even turn in his bed.
I remember screaming at a nurse's face for tying his hands to the bed. She said he was trying to remove the many tubes that were going in and out of his body & I screamed even more: "HE CAN'T MOVE! ARE YOU BLIND?" I remember wishing she was right.
I remember him getting skeleton-thin, when he could no longer be fed except by fluids through a tube.
I remember him not remembering me. I'd stand right infront of him and hear him ask: "who are you?"
I remember watching him from behind a glass barrier for 3 days when he was moved to the ICU.
I remember the moment I was told that he passed away.
I remember seeing him being identified by a toe-tag.
I remember the male nurse at the morgue.
I remember finding out at the funeral that I never really knew him.
I remember strangers coming up and telling me: "you must be his daughter. you look exactly like him."
I remember mama feeling that the funeral was her true wedding...the climax of her life's work..the reard for her suffering.
I remember dreaming that he woke up from the dead, then realized that the world is too ugly for anyone to rise from the grave.
I remember his friends who were not always in touch with him, calling to ask about him and I'd ask Sarah to tell them he is dead. I remember believing for a split of a second that he didn't actually die, that he was still here as long as some people still thought he was.
I remember the day mama got rid of all his belongings, his books, his clothes and even his pictures.
I remember feeling that maybe he never really existed, that he was just a fragment of my imagination.
I remember feeling bitter on hearing people say my "daddy" did this or my "daddy" said that.
I remember being asked what does my daddy do for a living and I'd answer that he was a pediatrician and they wouldn't notice that we are talking about a dead person.
I remember hearing the elevator stop at out floor, late at night and I'd think I'd hear the key turn then I'd see him coming from a long day of work like he usually did.
I remember him always telling me : "Smile now, Cry later." I remember that "later" never came as long as he was there. I remember the times he pretended to have a magic broom and told me he'd sweep everything I despise out of my life & I'd smile and say: "then all what'd be left is you."
A friend of mine told me that my dad would be aware of each and every step of my life and I should keep that in mind and try to make him proud of me.....but I don't believe that.
* This post was merely a perverse need I had to expose my ruins, my ugliness, to parade my misery, to uncover the stump of my amputated arm & force others to look at it.
I hope that exposing the outlines would help me be at peace with the rest of the things that've been living vividly in my head for 3 years now.