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On Father’s Day, a daughter-in-law writes a poignant letter to her father-in-law who is no more. She misses him for being the father figure that he was.
Sorry, it took me so long to write this letter.
My earliest memory of you goes back to when I was 9 years old. That one moment is still so alive in memory. One day, I fell in school and hit my head. My teachers wanted to take me to some good doctor but I was so adamant that I wanted to be treated by my Doctor Uncle only. I always thought you had some magic wand that cured and healed me every time without any pain.
You were not just my father’s friend or our Doctor but you were my Doctor Uncle, my guide and philosopher. Whenever I used to cry or get down with illness, you just didn’t provide the medical aid but also the words of wisdom and strength to infuse me with courage and knowledge, to not to bow down but to face the adversity head-on. I appreciate everything you did for my education and career, like my own father. You were always available to counsel me and clear my doubts. I think I am one lucky daughter-in-law who possesses wonderful childhood memories with her father-in-law.
The universe conspired in my favour and I got married to your son and became part of your family. Like any other young woman, after marriage, there had been some significant changes in my life too. But the best part was, that your affection never changed, you remained the same. In fact, papa in the new house, in the new family if I ever had any doubt, it was you I used to seek advice from. After your son and I moved to Europe to begin our family life you were more excited and happy than us.
When I used to call you from there, you never asked me if I was taking good care of your son, rather you were always concerned about my career and health in the new country. You encouraged me to work towards my passion for writing and developing my own personality and not just limit myself trying to be a good homemaker and a wife. From Doctor Uncle you became my Doctor Papa.
When we had just begun to make memories as a family, God called you. On 26 August 2018, we lost you. Papa, home is not home without you. I wish I could see you one more time, walking through the door to hug us. I would have come to you to say so many things that I had always wanted to say, but never could. Those unspoken feelings and unsaid words rumble inside me.
As your daughter in law, I want to share with you those feelings which clutch my heart.
Firstly, I never got a chance to show my gratitude to you for teaching your son so well while he was young, to be a perfect gentleman one day. He is totally like you. He adores me and values me exactly the way you loved my mother-in-law. Every day, when he gets ready for his office and looks himself in the mirror he says “I wanna be like my dad” and I heartily wish that his wish comes true.
Secondly, this one sad thought disturbs me, that one day when son and I will have kids, you will not be around. My future kids have missed the opportunity to grow up in the guidance and love of a truly grand grandfather. I am worried if we would be able to pass on the knowledge and experiences, we learnt from you to the next generation, without you. But, I promise papa, I will pass on your memories, stories of your life and your words of wisdom to your grandchildren. I will teach them diligently to keep the legacy of integrity, honesty and humbleness alive.
Thirdly, you will be proud that I have really become a stronger person as you always wanted me to be and have started taking my passion for writing seriously, as a blogger. But, yes I miss my biggest fan and guide.
You will always be our superhero. The hardest part I think, was not the goodbye but to learn to live without you, while making futile efforts of filling your void. You will always live inside us and very close to our hearts. We all love you and miss you so much. I cherish all our memories of the past but, I at the same time I feel sad that we cannot make any new memories with you.
I know you are watching over us!
All images are the author’s own
First published here.
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