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My Father

Flames cascaded over my father’s lifeless body, enveloping him in a cocoon.  He would soon be gone, slowly fading into ash forever.  My mind started tracing over our time together.  The memories came one by one, each one etched so very deeply into my memory that they seem to have become part of me; part of my soul. 

Not everyone understood my father, and not everyone liked my father.  I used to think I only loved him because he was my father.  I probably would not have tried as hard to be close to him if he was anyone else.  According to the old-timers, we (as children) should be “seen and not heard”.  And my father was an old-timer.  The interactions I had with him were subtle.  A pat on the shoulder when I brought home a good grade on an exam; and a nod of his head, with his eyes fixed on mine when I woke up on time and did my chores.  He never could bring himself to hug me.  It was just his way.

As the fire continued to swarm over him, I thought of the last few days; I remember thinking that I had to get to my father’s side.  I had to see him.  On one particular night I awoke from a dream and booked the next flight to my hometown.  In my dream my father was reaching out to me, asking me to come to see him one last time.  And three days later, here I was standing at my father’s pyre. 
The night before he died he finally said what he would never say with words.  For several moments he looked straight at me as he had done my whole life, but this time I felt something more.  He reached his hand out to touch mine, and I saw that glimmer of love and affection that I so longer for.  Although I may never have known my father as a man, I knew right then that we had a connection, and I knew that he loved me.  He was ready to go, and I was ready to let him.  

This is a fictional story.  Any resemblance to actual events and people is purely coincidental.  

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