I’m sitting in my Aunt’s kitchen. I smell dough rising in the oven and hear bits of conversations floating through the house.
24 hours ago, my Dad left this earth to go onto a new existence. But before that, my Mom and I held his hands for awhile…and eventually, I felt the warmth drain away. Soon, Apa’s face smoothed out and his soul left his body.
I kissed Apa’s head. Something I have never done before but felt so right in that moment. The night before, when Apa knew he was leaving, he told me I was pretty and wanted me to live a happy life.
I will hold onto every word he said that night.
I will remember that he took me on my first hike when I was a little girl.
I will remember he showed me the ocean so I could respect it.
He taught me how to drive when I was sixteen.
He was optimistic about life so I learned to view the world the same way.
His spirit will always be in me. And once his body is cremated, I will scatter his ashes in the mountains and the ocean…places where he felt at home.
Apa, you will always be with me. I am proud to be your daughter.