You tried to hide it. You laughed and turned to your dinner plate. But I heard the slight quiver in your voice. And I saw those two precious teardrops slipping out of your eyes.
I saw because I look up to those eyes. Dad, they are so filled with wisdom… about everything – the world, business… and me. I have seen them light up with excitement when I achieve and run home to share the news. I have seen them, exasperated, when I am stubborn and just don’t see the point, flinch in pain when you have punished me and quietly cry just after you slam the door and stalk off to your room after a big argument. I have seen them dance when you tease me and also shine with pride when I am at the dais and you are in the audience.
But, today, I saw saw something different in them. We were at the wedding reception of your friend’s daughter. The festivities were in full swing – cousins laughing, elders looking anxious, parents and in-laws exchanging niceties, shimmery clothes, flashy jewellery, fancy food… And in the midst of it all, you caught sight of Uncle just gazing at his beloved daughter, who he was going to bid goodbye to. And you thought of me – your little princess. And you, Dad, with your iron will, nerves of steel and heart of gold, gently melted into tears.
I saw you, Dad, and I welled up too. Because, Dad, while you thought of me, I thought of you. And I want to thank you for every little thing. For being ‘my Daddy bestest’ when I was little, a protector in my teenage and a guide in my adulthood. You have given me every comfort and spoiled me silly. You have cushioned me from every blow, corrected me when I lost my head and most of all, listened – a lot and, always, patiently. And though I don’t often say it, I stand strong because you are there to catch me when I fall.
Thank you, Daddy. With lots of love…