Thursday, 21 February 2008
Where is my dad?
My dad died when I was around 5yrs old coming on 6yrs old. It was sudden as he was travelling abroad with my elder sister (who was 13yrs old) at the time to India to visit his parents. I only have a several memories of him and they had faded over the years, the most vivid being when he was leaving for that trip, I was sleeping upstairs and I was awoken to all the commotion downstairs, it was around 5.30am, suitcases were being loaded into a car, voices had awoken me, I came down the stairs as I got to the last step I saw my dad, he kissed me on my forehead and said to be good for mum. With a cuddle he left, I stood there alone, cold, looking at the front door close. Mum told me to go back to bed but I said I didn’t want to, I don’t remember the rest but what I do remember is it was the last time I ever saw him again, my dad was gone forever. I remember days latter playing out side in the front porch , a motor bike pulls up and its some sort of courrier and he is asking for my mum by name and we say yes , he hand us an envelope , looks like a letter. We rush it in to mum, she is illiterate so she says take it to a neighbour and see what it says as my sister was able to read telegram on the envelope. We go next door to Sue but she sends us to Keith, Keith consults his wife and they ask who is Mr. ------------- we say my dad , Keith and his wife look worried now they go to the Mauritian family a few doors away, they are speaking in a low tone I cant make it out. They then tell us to go and get the phone number of a family memeber who speaks English like extended family, an uncle. It didn’t make sense at the time but it does now. They understood the telegram it was just one sentence of a 4 words we just couldn’t make out what deceased meant it read Mr…………… is deceased. Now the people we knew would not tell us, I remember saying we just don’t know what deceased means you can explain it to us so we can tell mum. The rest is a blur I don’t know if I have blocked it out or I was not present. Next thing I recall is what feels like weeks of car loads of people coming and going for weeks and we , us kids was put upstairs in a room and left their most part of the day when the mourners were here. I never saw mum after that not for a long time days, weeks, and then months 10 to be exact. Thing is none told us what was happening, no one told us your dad is dead. I was left to piece it together myself, my older brother and sister had worked it out but didn’t realise what it really meant and I remember them telling dad is dead and smiling. So the mourners kept coming , we was upstairs in the room directly above them, we could hear them laminating and crying , this was frightening and disturbing, I didn’t understand why they was doing this and where was my mum. We were surrounded by aunts’ loads of aunts, the whole extended family to be exact so I didn’t give mums absence to much thought. Then I remember one night while sleeping mum moving around the room to each child and I asked her what she was doing she said nothing , she said I am leaving u all a chocolate under your pillow and you are to eat this when u wake up ok. I must have dropped off, then we awoke and ate our chocolates and looked around for mum but she was not there, then someone said mums gone to india and we all started to cry alone (the idea of the chocolate was when we realised mum was gone we wouldn't be sad at the sight of the treat, which in all fairness did work for a mo). My aunt appeared and told us mum had gone to India and we were going to be staying with her indefinitely. That was it we was never told, never sat down and explained too, I never mourned my dad we just got on with it. We lived with my aunt for 10months in another area but we kept our school and she paid someone to drive us each day. My days at my aunts was days of fun and happiness, my four cousins and the 5 of us 9 kids imagine my poor aunt but she fed and kept us all well. There is still a void in this whole episode of my life , there is still something that i feel but can't explain.