Fatherly Love

Surjit Singh Flora

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Surjit with his DadOld file Pics

The pain and turmoil continue as we all celebrate Father's Day

By: Surjit Singh Flora

He is always in my heart. I will always love him forever... and I have so much pain in my heart.

I couldn't believe I lost him, just like that. My heart will never heal. Underneath the calm and happy mask, pain and turmoil continues to churn.

As this weekend we celebrate Father's Day, the pain of having lost my father overwhelms me

As I remember my father, tears well up in my eyes and stream down my face.

I well recall that modest-sized house with four rooms and kitchen, bathroom, and that little room my dad used as a Post Office, because he was a postmaster. In that house lived my four sisters, my brother, mom, dad and me. We were not rich, nor poor, just a nice happy loving family.

My dad always wanted to move to Canada so he could provide better education and a better life for his kids. He wrote a letter to one of my uncles in Toronto for help. My uncle was more than willing and got in touch with an immigration office, successfully getting a visit visa for my dad. So, the day came when he flew to Canada, in pursuit of a better future for his kids. I was only five years of age, going on to six.

After a few months dad wrote us a letter saying he's fine and happy. That letter, and its many fellows down the years-- all with the same content-- kept coming to our doors for 11 years. Yet, even as he lived on here in Canada, his health was failing him-- but fearing we would worry he never let on about his ill health.

He spent these years in Canada as a refugee; finally, after 11 years when he got his landed immigrant papers, he wrote us saying he is coming to visit us and that all of us will be moving to Canada.

The day never came... but we were not to know it then.

We were all happy that we would finally be together. It was to be a huge family reunion. Sadly, my father did not live to see his family together as he suffered a fatal heart attack.

We were shattered, in pain and in tears. And we were starving for our dad's love.

My mother sacrificed all her life to take care of us and give us everything we needed. My uncle who had helped dad get to Canada once again came into our lives as an angel. While we were in India, he wrote us a letter, full of love and affection-- love that I longed for. So touched was I that I then wrote him a letter addressing him as 'Dad.' Saddened by my letter he took upon himself the responsibility of taking care of us. He did his best to support us get to Canada, then helped us be successful in Canada.

I'm 52 today, and it's going to be 33 years since we've been living here. And got married to Kenyan born Punjabi woman, it’s going to be 17 years and we got two kids a boy and girl.

Yes, Canada is a wonderful country. I continue to learn new things and find new challenges, new experiences in this new life. But still so many times I can't help thinking it was here that my dad was taken away from us. When I miss him, I want someone to hold me, give me a hug. And when I see how everyone simply dotes on their dads, gives them gifts on Father's Day, wishes them a long, happy life, I want to do the same-- but to whom can I give my Father's Day gift and card to? Where can I get a warm loving hug, a kiss?

And it hurts, that life is so short, all too short, and the ones we love and who sacrificed so much for us are taken away from us so very early. So early, in fact, that we couldn't even get round to telling them how much we love them.

But I guess they are the ones whom even God loves so very much.

Surjit Singh Flora is a veteran journalist and freelance writer based in Brampton Canada

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With decades of experience , Surjit has a critical eye towards pressing issues including a focus on political issues affecting the provincial and federal governments.

Ontario, CA
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