Next week is a biggie: we have our final homestudy interview with Ms D. She gets to visit our home, and interview my husband and me for one hour each, individually. I feel like we need to sit together and get our facts right- but then again it is not about where did you meet each other sort of thing- it’s the past that is going to serve as a window to the future.
As we were cleaning our house this Saturday, I found the cassette that had some personal recording from my childhood. Nostalgia engulfed my soul to say the very least. Recently I have been reading about terminally ill parents leaving letters, notes, and pictures for their children before they die so they can know him/her. Every time I read those stories it breaks my heart but at the same time I am glad they are doing something so special. I was that child who lost their parent at an early age. I know first hand how important those letters/notes are to the child. It means holding a piece of your parent forever. Some might argue that you are preventing that child from moving on, but when you loose a parent you never move on. It is an irreplaceable bond!
Back to my cassette: My dad recorded my childish babbling singing nursery rhymes as a toddler. He knew there would be a time when I would be married and away from him. At that juncture of life he wanted to hear my voice every day since I wouldn’t be around. I refused to sing that specific day, and so my dad spoke in the recording guiding me through it. Fast forward to 1995, I had just lost my dad to death and before that day I never cared much about this cassette. One evening as I was coping with my broken heart, I stumbled upon this cassette and started listening to it. It never said it had our voice… as I listened I heard him call me by my nickname, and I melted. It was a surprise least expected and something that I needed to just survive each day. I did not cry- instead it felt soothing to my soul. When he died, I never imagined I would ever hear his voice again. To this day, when I am alone I think back to my dad, wondering what it felt like to sit near him, to see him smile. Those moments are long gone and with each passing day those feelings disappear little by little. It’s hard to recreate a hug without the other person being there. I am glad his voice is captured to remind me of the only man I have loved without any inhibition, and who never hurt me with even a sound. I have carried this cassette from India to America- through apartments and homes. It is by far the most precious thing in my house.
Yesterday as I heard it again in a long time, I felt calm again. I was not in the sunniest of moods yesterday. His voice let me know that everything would be ok. I sat there fighting my tears, rewinding the cassette over and over to hear him call me by my nickname again- a name that only he called me by, a name that had years of memories wrapped in four alphabets. When he was recording that cassette, little did he know that it would be his daughter and not him who would be listening to it years later- hoping to relive the warmth of his voice again. I am glad my dad recorded this cassette—very few children have this luxury that I do. To hear their deceased parent for life, especially when their heart just stops without a warning, with no time to prepare and say good-bye.