Today is a sad day because one of my closest friends is saying goodbye to one of the most important persons in her life and I’m not able to be there with her. Her dad passed away yesterday and it was a rather sudden departure. My thoughts are with her and I know that she has lots of support from friends and family.
When I was growing up, I got to know the parents of a few of my friends. Specifically, I saw the dads of three of my close friends fairly often. This was through time spent hanging out in their homes or getting lifts home. Sadly, all three of them have left us.
For this friend of mine, I will always remember her dad because I used to have to help my friend spell his name. To be fair, the spelling is very complicated, especially for seven year olds. So I helped my friend by memorising it and whenever she had to fill in forms, I would spell it out for her.
This is generalising but in my opinion, there are two kinds of dad – the strict ones (or at least, appear to be strict) and the chilled out ones who help their kids stay out of trouble. My friend’s dad is the latter type. He was always fairly relaxed and we’d have no fear of speaking our minds in front of him. His image in my mind is sitting back on a chair, either gazing afar or watching TV. Even after I moved abroad, I saw him almost every time I was back in Malaysia and this image remained unchanged through the years.
As I grow older, I’m more conscious of mortality and the importance of treasuring the times that I spend with those close to me. I’ve also become sentimental and tear up when I recall certain memories or stumble upon old photos. We meet so many people in our lives and it’s not obvious, but I’m sure that almost everyone has a hand in shaping our future and what we become. Even though I did not know my friend’s dad well, I’m grateful that we met and for these memories I have.