Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Remembering My Dad

It was on 9th Dec 2011 at 3:45 am that my dad breathed his last. It was in the military hospital in Lungtenphu, he was in very hopeless conditions with failed kidneys, failing liver, failing lungs and failing heart. I knew all these even though the doctors did not tell me maintaining their medical ethics and code of conducts.

I am filled with remorse for not doing more to him and repay him when he was alive. But all the sacrifices and the hardship that he had undergone to bring us up and giving education and making us stand on our own feet will never be forgotten.

Like all the old people of his generation he liked drinking alcohol. When he came to my house to stay for some time I denied him giving alcohol and I was told later that he was buying and drinking from the bar. I never intended to not to give what he liked, but I wanted to make him live a little longer.

Thinking of my childhood days when I was denied what I liked which he knew was harmful to my dental health – I did not liked it. Remembering that incident I provided him a bottle of special courier on the table to be had whenever when he felt like having it. That time he did not drink much. A peg or two made him a little tipsy. The man who can drink a bottle of alcohol at once now can have only a peg or two, I wondered, not realizing that that his liver and other organs were collapsing.

He went to Thimphu for cataract removal surgery on his own. It was during that time he was diagnosed with diabetes. The insulin injections made him worse and incidentally I was there at Thimphu on my temporary duty. My loyalty and gratitude was further reinforced for the organization for letting me be his sick attendant until he passed away. The system of letting us go as sick attendant to our near and dear ones upholds the culture and tradition of looking after the sick and old parents.

He was the fighter and I had the hope that he would win this battle too but the attack was so overwhelming that only I and the doctors knew. The hope of recovery in him started to diminish when he could not walk and most of the delicacies that he enjoyed were not permitted to be eaten due to diabetes. I joked with him telling him that he had his share of all the pork and beef and other delicacies before only, now he had to survive on dry roti, kharang and sugarless drinks. While he was eating, it brought tears in my eyes, for he was trying to eat tasteless food to get well, perhaps to eat well again which would not be possible hereafter even if he had recovered.

He was one man who ate and drank what he liked. The strong man to whom I looked up to is now lying on the bed in the ward looking up to me. He confided in me that he surrenders everything in my hand to make him all right or to die. He also told me that if he dies he entrusted and trust me to do all the needful, I was fighting my tears listening to him but desperately trying to look strong in front of him.

The test reports were hopeless. I have browsed the internet and deciphered all the things that reports indicate but doctors out there did not make me lose hope sticking to their ethics. All my other siblings came once, but I sent them back with due permission from my late dad, telling him and giving him confidence that I will be there with him always, for they had to take leave to be sick attendant unlike in army.

Just before his conditions deteriorated I have sent sms to all the siblings to come. As they were coming he breathed his last in me and my mother’s presence peacefully in his sleep. I felt so helpless as him for this is the path every one of us must follow.

During the dinner before his demise he told me to give the dinners to the others present in the room with his eyes closed. I told him that there were no one but he insisted that I offer the dinner to them first. I made the gesture of offering food to them and he ate like never before during his stay in the ward. Upon asking what type of people were there in the room he told me that there were people in  monk’s robe came to get him, I let the tears roll without letting him hear the crying voice for his eyes were closed shut.

I heard about angels coming to get the soul so that may be it. I also heard that some people get so afraid and shout and cry before dying, he did nothing of that sort. In his case he was so sober and I knew that he was going to a better place.

He was strict, stubborn and short tempered but he was good at heart. And it was proved by the fact that angels came to get him instead of devils. He was a very bad business person due to his kindheartedness and straight forwardness. He was very religious too and had blind faith in lamas and Rimpoches. His morning prayers would disturb our sleep when we were young. Later he joined ‘threma’ and ardent follower of Garab Rimpoche. Ultimately it paid off while taking the last breadth of air, being what he was – a good at heart.

The ‘tse’ says that he will be reborn as a man in one religious family after one year. I m just looking forward to see my little father until then you would be missed and remembered throughout my life.

 “I love you Dad” it was never told to you when you were alive just like many other Bhutanese families.