Following in the footsteps of Antares, who paid a tribute to his dad on his birthday, I thought I'd do something similar but different.
Today would have been my dad's 77th birthday. So here is a letter I wrote him!
I know you've always liked that I called you D. Perhaps everyone thought it was a shortened version of Daddy. But you and I know it was not.
I found this picture of you and your brothers. I love this picture. I made copies and sent it to them some years ago. You all looked so happy. As usual, you had to be the outstanding one with the dark glasses!
Today would have been your 77th birthday. It's almost 20 years since you died. There are days when I don't think of you at all. Then, there are also days when I suddenly miss you so much.
I have millions of tiny memories of you. I guard them safely in my mind and pick at them when I need a smile.
Often I wonder what you would have thought of your six children, and the choices we had made after you had gone. You'll be happy to know that we are all quite close and we stay in touch.
I still remember that day when Rindra called to tell me the news but I was feeding Eric and Jared took the call. Rindra asked me to call back and I could hardly breathe when he told me.
It was very hard for all of us. We each grieved in our own way and drifted apart but we have all remained in touch and, I might add, with strong sibling bonds. It has to be our love and respect for you that binds us all.
At that time, Sheila Majid's song "Lagenda" hit the scene and although the rest of Malaysia thought of P. Ramlee, I could only think of you whenever I heard that song. The lyrics seemed so very appropriate for you too. Tears pricked my eyes when I realised that I’d never ever see you again.
Your grandson, Jared loved the fact that I called you "D". He now uses the same term of endearment for his dad. Jared remembers you fondly as the one who drank the "black beer". You used to love your Guinness Stout!
Long ago when we wanted to attend a party during our early teens and mom told us to come home by ten. We lamented and appealed to you. Immediately, you told us that we could go but to return home before the sun rises in the morning. Those were magical words for us. The trust we got from you and the pride we felt at this "unlimited" permission to party.
So many things remind me of you: a piano, jazz music, jokes, love and laughter.
Yet, it's the little things that jog my memory as I go about my life.
Whenever I eat the salted egg, I always think of you. Yes, it's my favourite memory of you and me. You'd take the yolk and pass the salty white part to me. I'd often told this to whoever was having a meal with me. It probably sounded like an inconsequent remark to them but it was a moment that made me remember you and made me smile.
You don't know but of all the pieces of jewellery that I have, the one I treasure the most is a gold chain that you gave me for my 21st birthday. To me, it's the most precious and valuable piece I own. Once I thought I had lost it and I felt sick with my own carelessness. Fortunately, it had dropped on the kitchen floor and when I found it, I was so relieved. I've kept it safely now.
Happy Birthday, D.
You are gone but not forgotten.
I love you and suddenly I miss you so very much.
Much love from your daughter