Thursday, January 3, 2008

First snowy day and a tribute to dad

We finally have our first snow falling in Istanbul today. Snow still brings that childlike excitement bubbling up in me, as I'm sure most people who grew up in SoCal can relate to. I stick my tongue out to catch some flakes and wish for those rare snow days in my childhood, when we were all released from school to frolic in the white stuff.

Today is the 19th anniversary of my father's death. It seems so strange to think that I've lived more years without him than with him. While he was living, my father was my family ally. We understood each other and had the unvoiced labels of strong and silent. Though he died when I was only 11, he still had a major imprint on who I am today.

When I was in my late teens, my mom found a travel journal of his and gave it to me. In reading through it, I discovered how much my father had loved traveling when he was younger and that we had taken road trips to many of the same places. It was surreal to read of his lightheadedness in the high elevations of Utah mountains in the exact area where I had spent my last summer working for the forest service and exploring the wilderness. Much of his earlier life was a mystery to me. He had had another wife before my mom who died of cancer when she was young. This must have been devastating for him, but that kind of thing hadn't crossed my mind when I was younger and there are so many questions I wish I had asked.

Thanks dad for teaching me to be strong, to stand up for myself and my rights, to not complain about the small things that don't really matter, to be decisive, to take the initiative while everyone else is standing around, to not worry so much about what others' think about me, to save money for a rainy day (which came in especially handy in '07), to find my own beliefs, to travel, live free and love deeply.

Missing someone you've lost, especially a parent, never ends. On special days, you can't help but wish that your loved one could be there with you. I wonder if my dad would've gotten up and danced at my Turkish wedding as he wasn't much of a dancer, if he would've like Evren, if he would be unhappy with our decision to live in Turkey. . .


Ardent said...

Devi, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post about your Dad. I'm sure he is very proud of you and I am certain he would of Danced at his daughter's wedding.

My father passed away last May and already there are so many questions I should of asked him ... but life must continue, as they would no doubt wish.


Devi said...

Ardent, thanks for your kind comments. My condolences for the loss of your father. Writing about him for your children and grandchildren is a great idea.

belle_fleur said...

Hi Devi,

I just happened to pass by and read this tribute to your dad. I'm sorry for the loss at an early age. It seems though that you've grown to be the girl that your father would have wanted to, the strong kind with good virtues, morals, and beliefs.

Your dad is watching you from above and sends you the snow as a sign of greeting from where he is. You've done well!

I wish you the best and stay strong no matter how hard lifes seems to be.


Beverly said...

This post was so moving and beautifully written. I remember the day you told me that your father had passed away. We were in the sixth grade and on the play set right in front of Mrs. Chan's room. I remember feeling at a loss of words and not really understanding what was going on. I know that your dad would be very proud of you and who you have become. I can picture him and you dancing together at your wedding . . . he would have danced with you! Wish I was there to squeeeeeeze you!