Salaam alaekum.

I have a lot to tell you Dad. So much to say but these 2 things are most important. First, THANK YOU for everything and second, I AM SORRY.

Dad, I am thankful for everything you did for us and for me. A number of things weren’t clear and some I took for granted. I did truly loved you then and I still do even in death but now I see clearly how I mistook a whole lot about you. You gave your all despite your mistakes. You looked out for me and it was you who first called me a man. You taught me to be generous and you put me on the path of Islam. I would never forget the one time you told me, “Even if you think you can’t learn from me how to be a good dad, you should learn how not to be a bad one”. Dad, that sticks till date and dad, you were never a bad father. You did your best possible and you held nothing back.

It was you, who gave me my first wrist watch. A fancy one at that. You just believed I was ready to roll and you let me. Whenever you speak to me, you spoke the truth even when it was uncomfortable. You taught me to man up and take responsibility for my actions.

For sure, I can never thank you enough but for what it’s worth and I hope these letters convey the gratitude in my heart, THANK YOU DAD.

Dad, I am sorry for despite my foolishness thinking I could judge you. I am a dad myself now, the nest is full dad. Everything you did, I now have to do and I pray I am able to do a tenth of what you did. Dad, I am sorry for thinking the pocket monies could be more. I am sorry for thinking we could have made those vacations. I am sorry for thinking you should have done more just because some kids around had more. I am sorry because I failed to see those kids who did not have at all. I am sorry to have thought you gave too much attention to other kids. I am sorry to have thought you gave too much to people and saved nothing. I am sorry to have thought every time you smiled suggested happiness and that your tears were indicative of weakness.

Dad, today, I broke down and cried. I am not weak dad, I just cried to ease myself of pressure. Of the thought and fear of whether I would ever be able to do enough or be enough. There are days I have also kept the smiles glued to my face dad; it was not because I had it all together but words just failed me and I couldn’t find a better way to express my worries.

I am sorry to have thought fatherhood was easy. Today, I know better and I wish I had known more before your passage. I wish I spent more time with you to learn the ropes. I wish I had told you how much I cared and love you. How much you meant to me and how your words helped me go on.

Dad, I am deeply sorry and if I had to choose again, you’d be my first and final option.

Let me tell you something Dad, I am not doing badly at all. I am holding up fine and putting in my best not necessarily to beat your record but to not drop the ball and fail at the lessons you taught me. I have had to make decisions and moves that without a doubt in my mind, if you were here, I would have bounced them off you. You always talked me through everything. Somehow, you always made me know my opinions and views count towards something for you.

I am doing well with the kids Dad. Not enough as I would have wanted to as the travails of fatherhood are dawn on me and it is a constant struggle to keep up. I try my best to be there for them and teach them the lessons of life. I have those hard moments when I needed to go hard and Dad, I do go hard and then quickly make a U-turn to balance it all out.

Dad, your name and goodwill had at my times opened doors for me. In some special circumstances, it would be just enough to mention to whoever that I am your son. The comments that come after the revelation are so overwhelming that if nothing more came my way, I would have left happily. Guess what Dad, after all those glowing tributes, things get done. I go back home a proud son and a fulfilled man. What more could I ask for.

When I have my worries, I do what you taught me, pray. I have decided to let God at this point. I do my best at all times but I have never believed I have come this far by sheer hard work. I identify mercy, grace and goodwill. I am always walking the path to be a better me, Dad and I hope I am able to make you proud if God would let you peek just one more time.

I must confess though; this is way more than you made it look like. Fatherhood is not for the faint hearted. How you managed to make it through the uncertainties around feeding, clothing and housing beats me. I wake up every day thinking about what could come next and how to keep it all together for the family. How you kept those worries away from us is magic. This is my reality and now I see the handwritings.

Dad, I still make mistakes and get some things wrong but I am committed to learning as I go and get better. I find it interesting how some things that appear to have been well thought out end up being wrong. You always talked about keeping the name and that I will. I hope to pass same to the kids.

I pray Allah forgives all of your sins, expand your grave, fill your grave with his light and scent, wash you clean with hail and snow and ultimately admit you into paradise. Aamiin.

I am on it, Dad. I am going to put that name you gave me on the map. I will tell it to the world you are the man before dropping the mic!

I love you Dad and I miss you!

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