This is not the first time. No. But no one tells you about it, there are no books to read, no how-to manuals on how to mourn. There is no 10-step guide to grief. But I will try.
It’s been – I don’t really know anymore – how many years. I do remember the fourteen summers before that winter. I remember the letters I wrote to you when you were away. I remember the night you came back and I ran into your arms. You lifted me up and I sobbed, my face nuzzled in your neck and you whispered I am here. I am here. I am here.
I remember the burn scars on the fingers of your right hand from when you saved me from that cracker that could have exploded right in front of my face. I remember when we stopped by after school to drink some flavored milk and you told me stories of when I could fit in your palm’s length. I remember you. I remember you. I remember you.
I remember when you had put up that magic show for me and my friends in the living room. I remember when you had held me in your arms as I burnt with fever. I remember when you taught me how to chop onions the right way. I remember when you made mixed tapes for me. I remember when you cried when I was leaving. I remember when I saw you in the backyard shrouded in white. I remember when they took you the cremation ground. I remember you.
I remember you, dad, everyday.
Happy 58th Birthday.