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Sunday
Jan012012

My dad

My dad died, which is why I have been so silent on this blog lately (my apologies to my six readers!). On the one hand, I couldn't write about it. On the other hand, I couldn't write about anything else.

Relationships with parents are so interesting. Especially father/son and mother/daughter ones. I loved my dad, and I knew he loved me, but we were not really close. I don't know if that makes it more difficult or less. But it's been hard.

In March 2011, my dad went to the hospital with heart failure. The blood thinners they gave him caused him to bleed into his chest. He was moved to ICU and we fully expected to lose him.

But we didn't.

Miraculously, he recovered, and he recovered well. For the next 8 months, he seemed to be getting better and better (although he was always in obvious fragile health).

Just when we thought we might have him for a couple more years, he passed away in his sleep, next to his wife, on Sunday, November 13, 2011.

The funeral was very meaningful to me. It was certainly a sight to behold. If you could only imagine a traditional, American funeral intermixed with a traditional Indian/Hindu funeral! Of course, my fellow freaks overwhelmed us with love and support. Emails, phone calls, lunches, breakfasts, flowers, and, most of all, by taking off of work and life to drive to Austin and be there in person for the funeral. My mom even joked that more people came from Waco than from Austin (she has made this joke more than once since then, and I think it indicates that my mom was really touched by the expression of love from these Christians). And when Amanda could not find a sub at school, Erin gave up going to the funeral in order to sub for Amanda and watch 15 toddlers.

 

I have a lot to be thankful for. I had a good dad. We had some good times. I've had a good life, and so much of it I owe to him.

But my thankfulness does not overpower the daunting questions that press against my soul. Sometimes I feel paralyzed. Sometimes it is as if I cannot breathe. And then these moments pass and I go on.

I have spent most of my Christian ministry trying to de-emphasize heaven and hell and re-emphasize Jesus Christ on earth, in us, bringing his kingdom of goodness and light. But lately, I have had to think about heaven and hell in a close, personal way. 

There is so much I do not understand. And it is hard to imagine I might wrestle with these questions for the next 50 years (assuming I live into my 80s) before I know the Truth.

But until then, I am thankful for what God has given me. I am thankful for my dad. I am thankful for my fellow freaks. I am thankful for Jesus.

And I am thankful for a new year.

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Reader Comments (2)

Rishi,
I just stumbled upon your posting and learned for the first time of your dad's passing. To tell you that I am sorry for your loss does not even begin to scratch the surface of the depth of what I'd like to communicate to you. First of all, my deepest apologies that I didn't learn of this earlier, and that I therefore haven't been present to you in the ways that I could have been. Know that we feel sadness over your loss, that I would love to reconnect with you when your time and space allows, and that in the meantime, we are holding all of you close in prayer.

January 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Louis

I'm glad you were able to finally write about your dad. I agree that the Not Knowing is hard; I really don't know how to approach those ideas right now, either. And as crappy and confusing as this road is, it's really good to know we don't walk it alone.

January 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteramy

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