On March 29, 2006, I was in the middle of a terrible argument with The Man. I rarely cry. Even more rare that I would cry during an argument. I'm not a girlie girl; I enjoy the "challenge". On that day, at that time, I was sobbing and crying my eyes out on my sofa. It wasn't the most horrible argument. It wasn't so awful. I suddenly had a premonition and turned to him and said, 'Your uncle is sick. Which one? He is really sick.... I think he may pass away. You need to talk to him.' It was totally random; out of nowhere. He said that none of his uncles was sick - everyone was fine. We finished arguing. I stopped crying. He went home. And he thought about it; No one was sick.
That was the exact time and day that my father died. I didn't know it at the time. Neither did my family.
My Dad was a lonely old guy at the end of his life - and quite stubborn. If my sister (who lived 5 minutes away) didn't go to visit him often enough (by his estimate), he would stop answering the phone and wouldn't return her messages until she got in her car and went over there to visit him.
That day was one of them. He was (for an American term) "playing possum". She just thought that he was doing the same thing he always did; until she and her husband went there to see him and saw the newspapers at the doorstep. My dad was a routine guy. He put his coffee on, went to the bathroom, and got the newspaper - every morning. He would never miss a paper. There were several on his doorstep.
So now, it is year 4 since he died. I still stop and think to myself, 'Shoot! It has been a long time since I've talked to Dad. I'd better call him!' and go to pick up the phone.
When I went to Animal Friends League today and played with the puppies and helped them out (a little), I thought about my dad and how I am sure he was right there with me. He loved all creatures, but especially dogs. He befriended the ugliest and smelliest of them and adored them like princes and princesses.
I might not ever have kids of my own. Today I spent the day with one I am very proud of: a 10 year old Kuwaiti boy - The Man's son, Abdullah - who wanted to do something to help the animals. He worked really hard; surprisingly hard; cleaning/moving things and then helping to walk the dogs and play with ("socialize") the extremely exhuberant puppies. I hope that I can pass along to someone younger than I am just a tiny amount of what my parents have always taught me: compassion for all living creatures and especially those in need. I think that Abdullah got a taste of it and I am hoping that it will be contageous. Maybe he can pass it along to some of his young relatives.
I miss you, Dad. I hope that your Heaven is full of all the creatures who you have loved and have loved you. I know you are with me and that you will never really go away.