Lost your loved ones, battling the days, feeling some what lost and nostalgic? A family wedding had my emotional threads unravelling. A rare surf through Facebook uncovered a post that had my heart soar, plummet and finally right itself as the threads tethered itself in remembered love…
Married at 21, having led a fairly sheltered world, as Mom’s friend and very much “my father’s daughter”, despite missing family, I embraced a new life as part of a bigger family, anticipating family bonding and another loving “Mom” in my mother-in-law. Sadly, that was not to be. I was found wanting and cast out. With the resilience of youth and innocence, I fashioned a life for myself, made possible with love from my maternal family and calls to my Dad. Everything that needed doing, although I waffled on to Mom, it was to Dad that I “connected”, the rare conversations became more frequent as the years passed. There was nothing more satisfying than picking up the phone, hearing his voice. I was loved and cherished, okay maybe a littleside-lined when my daughter was born. She took prominence in Dad’s life as the first grandchild. Those fruits and treats lovingly stashed in his pockets were now for her. I teased him but I understood. Even when he ailed through his stroke, the fruits remained in his bedside drawer and again, I understood, despite his inability to speak. After 10 years of marriage, my husband’s dream, his son was born. It was an emotional share with Dad and desperate prayers from us for him to hold onto to life until my son’s birth. Dad did not disappoint, he held on and almost two years later, finally released his tenuous breath. Often I reached out, held the useless receiver in my hand, he was no more. The remembered conversations are bound in my heart, the lump revisits my throat and the loss, still keenly felt.
Let me share with you Reecha Agarwal Goyal’s Facebook post, dedicated to all fathers :
Dad’s Speech At His Daughter’s Wedding :
“I thought I would start my speech by addressing you as the “new” family of my daughter. But I think it would be inappropriate because now that she is married, you are “the family” for her. Believe me; I don’t have a problem with that. I, in fact, want my daughter to have “you” as her priority now. It’s time for us to take a backseat in her life. We would happily accept it but would surely request one thing- please keep her happy!
I am more than sure that you will keep her very happy. She will perhaps be happier than what she used to be here. But like all fathers, I obsess over my daughter’s happiness which is making me say this over and over again- please keep her happy!
She never was and will never be a burden for me. She is in fact the reason why I breathe and smile. I am getting her married because this is what the law of nature demands. I am helpless in the face of our culture and therefore sending her to your home. She was the happiness of my home and will now light up your home. I am giving my world to you. Please make sure it remains beautiful. I am giving away my princess to you. Please make sure she stays as a queen. I have raised her with my sweat and blood and now she is wonderfully perfect. For all the care, love, beauty and warmth my daughter will bring into your lives, I just want her happiness in return—please keep her happy!
If at times you think that my daughter has said or done something wrong, feel free to scold her. But handle her with love. She is very fragile. If at times she feel slow, be with her. She just needs a little bit of your attention. If at times she feels sick, show her some care. It’s the medicine that works best for her. If at times she fails to fulfil a responsibility, feel free to chastise her. But empathize with her. She is still learning. Do understand her—please keep her happy!
I don’t mind if I don’t get to see her for months. I don’t mind if I am not able to talk to her on a daily basis. I would be more than happy if she doesn’t remember me much. But, my only motive in life has been my daughter’s happiness which is now in your hands. I beg you, please keep her happy.
Dear Son-in-law, these words may not mean much to you now but if you are lucky enough to father a daughter someday, you will appreciate them better when you will find every beat of your heart shouting – “please keep her happy!’
Since I had the typical Hindu wedding with at least 500 guests, yes, all beloved friends and family were invited, we had the “meet and greet” at the end, with our guests waiting patiently in a long line to impart words of wisdom, bless us with roses yet still pat me on the head, as if I was five. Finally, it was my Dad’s turn, he had re-surfaced, he had most probably been watching from afar. His cancer did not allow free rein of his vocal chords, so no speech. I peeped at him as he advised his precious new son to take care of me. Often, I watch my wedding DVD and watch Dad lovingly but firmly wag his finger under my husband’s nose. Neither of us minded then as some mind today, with love and values as eroded as it is.
Main image Credit : Dreamstime.com
A little information about the Author :
Reecha Agarwal Goyal holds an MBA in marketing and finance from Loyola Institute of Business Administration, Chennai. She has worked as a Wealth Manager in one of the reputed MNCs for six months before getting married in Delhi. Literature has always fascinated her and she has an undying passion for words. She believes that it is her kids, Aanya and Ayansh, who have brought out the writer in her. They make her see this world in a whole new light. Pink Musings is her first book and she desires to spend her entire life reading, writing and travelling.
Goodreads classifies Reecha’s book “Such is HER Life” as a collection of musings that will have you reeling in a wave of emotion long after you are done reading, this powerhouse of work will make you smile, cry, go red in anger, nod your head in agreement and grasp the finer nuances of what it means to be her in today’s world.
A SMALL BOOK OF BIG LEARNINGS.