I stood by the window over the sink looking out into the dull, drab day. The sky was overcast and grey. Cold rain drizzled and left shiny streaks along the bricks in the patio. My thoughts were back seven years remembering the final moments with my dad. Time ticked by as he drew his last. I felt tears snake down my cheeks. I shook myself and tried to focus on the now. The immediate.
Sounds filtered down from above. Ammu came down, her cheeks tear streaked as well and her face long and drawn. I held her close.
“What happened?” I asked.
“Daddy hurt my feelings”
She burst into a fresh set of tears. Wiping her face, I smiled as I asked her.
“Did you hurt Appa’s feelings?”
Silence for a while before she answered “A little”
A smile broke through the stormy face and before long, two animated, silly girls dominated the kitchen.
Waving the kids off, I lost myself in the mundane-ness of everyday chores. The darkness from the morning had lifted. Watching daughters and daddy vie for each other’s affection took the edge off my sadness. Wiping and drying my hands, I pulled up old pictures from my albums and revisited memories. The good ones. The happy ones. Ones fraught with much emotion. Caressing my dad’s outline, I put them away knowing each passing year will cause the outline to grow dimmer. Each passing year will replace old memories with ones watching the daddy to my daughters embrace his fatherhood. Each passing year will permit me to watch from the sidelines as my daughters define their relationship with their dad. One day as they fly the coop, I will ache with them. For their loss and mine.