Time can bring you down, time can bend your knees
Time can break your heart, have you begging please, begging please
Beyond the door there’s peace I’m sure
And I know there’ll be no more tears in heaven
At around 4am on 27 June 2017, my late dad’s 72-year-old best friend of 40+ years lost his 6 month battle against a kidney ailment. Three weeks preceding Ganesh Rao uncle’s death, I saw him at the hospital and had a conversation with him, in tears. I couldn’t bear to see how weak he was, all the weight he had lost, all those tubes; this was the same positive, cheerful, funny and fit person I looked up to while growing up.
“I’ve never been in a hospital or had any serious illness in my life. This is the first, the doctors ask me to eat and start walking as exercise but I can’t seem to eat anything or get off this hospital bed. I’ve tolerated all the painful procedures so far. I’ve been brave, but I don’t know what God wants from me. I came into the hospital walking and now I hope I don’t have to crawl my way out. ” he said with tears rolling down his eyes. I left telling him that I want him to continue being strong and next time I see him will be at our house for lunch with his family.
To one of the men who stood by us in our times of suffering. To a father figure who practiced being a perfect family man and exemplified it in his life and family.
Taking the early morning call announcing the passing on of a father-figure, a man who my parents sought counsel from and who saw eye-to-eye with each other, even heart-to-heart was dumbfounding.
My uncle—my Father Figure—who had given me wise counsel on how to deal with some of the curve balls that life was guaranteed to throw my way is no more. But in the backdrop of a myriad memories that elicit both sadness and a hopeful longing, he lived his life as an example when it came to being – disciplined, honest, humorous, simple, kind, rational, practical and non-judgmental. But, most of all he excelled at being the best husband, father and friend anyone could ever have.
As I bid him a tearful goodbye at the funeral, much like all the others whose lives he had influenced, I told myself that he will always occupy a very special place in my heart. Our bond will remain unbroken—even by death.