Yesterday was my dad’s death anniversary! And some of us in the family decided we meet to gether as a larger family in one of my brother’s house to celebrate, to recall, remember and share some memorable moments spent with our father. So we decided for a potluck dinner, and each of us brought something to share, we prayed together, and sang all the favourite hymns my dad used to sing in Tamil, helped one another with lyrics, as its been long time since we sang those songs, it was such a joy to sing together in one accord and each one us shared our experience with dad.
It began from Celi my older sister, who had lots of humorous situations to share, and listening to her we felt happy and true, for we knew that Celi always worried my dad and made fun of him, then came the youngest daughter who was my dad’s favourite, because she resembled my eldest sister who was a nun. Leena spoke of legacy my dad left for her, and told us that she cherished some of the moments in her life which reminded her to have faith and Trust in God. Then it was the turn of Vincent my third brother, who was happy to share the arguments he used to have with him with regard to existence of God, and today he valued what my dad taught him.
It was Danny’s, turn- my fourth brother, he became sentimental, when he spoke of Dad, he recalled his adolescence stage, and how he did not want to go to school, as he was not interested in studies but wanted to work and Dad pushed him to complete his 10th standard and encouraged him to continue to study and work, he was proud to say that whatever he is today in life, he owes a great deal to my dad.
Then came Mary, Danny’s wife, my sister in law, she had fine memories of my dad sharing his faith with her, and thanking her for looking after him. Now it was John’s turn, my fifth brother who missed him, and shared his experience of learning to pray from my dad, immediately his son Sam spoke about how he irritated his grandfather as a little child, playing all kinds of pranks on him and worrying him. My daughter Dorothy was listening quietly and my nieces Neomi, Nancy, Rachel and Nissi showed could not remember much of Dad as they were too small, but they were impressed while everyone shared about him.
My eldest brother Raj and my nephews Ezekiel & Yohan my were nodding their heads listening to everyone. I was happy to be part of this gathering – and I too had my special moments with Dad, I was a great entertainer, and every day I used to imitate his friends, share jokes, and make him laugh, in fact dad used to look forward for me to return from my office, to find out what was the latest joke in my life. I remember reading Tamil bible to him, and share some my very favourite passages from Isaiah 49, Psalm 23, Psalm 139, and Psalm 8 … he used to be very impressed with me, for hearing me read in Tamil.
My dad was also a very open to learn, I remember, when I went for vipassana meditation first time, and excitedly shared the art of meditation, he listened with great interest, and was ready to learn how to meditate.
We look at our watches, it was already 10p.m. each of us have to get back to our families, and continue our routine, all of us were happy to relive our moments of joy – and it was time for party now, we shared what we brought, enjoyed a good meal, hugged and kissed one another good bye ! Looking forward for another gathering in the family.
"Like branches on a tree, our lives may grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one."