Today’s prompt over at NaBloPoMo: What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of your father?
His smile. Always.
My father had a very pleasant smile. One that would stretch from ear to ear if he was in a particularly genial mood. Sometimes he would scrunch up his nose with his smile to indicate he was feeling affectionate. For someone who was never comfortable with physical expressions, this gesture was the only indication of how he felt.
I like to think perhaps I have inherited his smile along with his nature. I see him occasionally when I smile into the mirror. I imagine my appa’s love envelop me. Sometimes, that is all it takes to feel his presence.
His smile is not the only thing that pops into my mind when I think of him. I feel security. As a parent now, I realize the gift he gave me. A wonderful childhood unmarred by fear of any kind. If I was home, I was safe. If I reached the train station before dawn, I knew security the moment I spied his awkward gait as he walked towards me. Leaving home to catch a late night train, Appa would be there dropping me off at the station till he knew I was safe in the company of friends.
I look back now and love the legacy he left behind. A presence I seek out when I am riddled with questions or angst. His face is enough to quell any disquiet within. For that I will forever be grateful.