As one who has slept

by bkajlich

Hi.

It’s been awhile. I’m on a flight home to LA from Michigan and perusing the web. Taking advantage of the inflight wifi and trying to distract myself from any number of things… Anyway, I came across my poor neglected blog. Yes, I made it private a few months back when a certain “hi” heard round the world made me nervous that my previous words would be used against me. I was reading through some old posts and thinking I should start writing again when I saw it… a comment from my dad:

“As i read your (and A’s) blogs, i see myself in my teens/twenties/thirties open and eager to live all there was to live, see all the sights, smell all the never changing smells of the city and of the forests in the mountains, changing with the seasons, the people i have met with some of i was to become good friends, with some lovers, discovering music and the joy of sharing every small discovery…
And there were other discoveries: my separateness, my individuality breaking from my parents nest my value as a person – after coming/escaping to the West – and i could go on.
Then came the 10-60 hours of work in a week, tiredness and distance from my family. I loved my work, but now miss you kids at that age. And your mother.
I am amazed at your ever deepening maturity, your sense of self worth without narcissism, the beauty of your mind (just don’t let any males tell you that, they are looking with one eye at the nearest bed!),
What more can a parent ask for?
Apu.”

My beautiful, elegant, eloquent, brilliant father passed away 3 weeks ago. We called him Apu, which is Hungarian for “dad”. I am devastated and heartbroken, yet filled to the brim with the absolute assuredness of my papa’s love for me. My siblings and I won the parent lottery jackpot. Our luck was only shadowed by the knowledge that we couldn’t keep him forever… I know that as time passes the shock and hurt will heal, but not the missing. Oh no. I wish so badly to hear his lovely accented voice on the line as he so often murmured “hi sweetie….”

I have so many stories to share with you. So much has happened to open my heart and although there are moments when I feel I cannot bear it a second more, the cloud passes and the sun is shining once again.

A wise woman once told me that nature will almost always offer signs and guideposts along the way, if you are open to seeing them.

Three minutes before I received my brother’s phone call telling me that my dad had been rushed to the hospital unconscious, my car was completely encapsulated by a swarm of thousands of bees. My dad was one of the few people in my life who did not refer to me as “B”, but last Christmas he gave me a necklace with a bumblebee on it. Three days after my dad passed(and several bee encounters later) I arrived home to find two CD mixes from him in my mailbox. My dad had never made me a music mix in my life, and yet several days prior to the end of his prolific life, he made a point of mailing TWO to me. As I pulled one out of it’s sleeve the tears came whooshing…. He had drawn a single bumblebee on the disc.

There have been so many other special signs. I feel fortunate to be part of a family that is open to seeing them. I feel so blessed to be the child of a man who, from beyond the magic line of mystery, is sending them. I just feel so damn lucky to be his daughter, period.

When I think of my papa now, I like to think about him as in the above video… As “one who has slept”. Flying and soaring. At peace. Free from pain. At one with all things and part of the great mystery that lies beyond us all. When I think of him I like to remember all that he was and how I can embody that. He was kind and good. Smart and funny. Thoughtful. Goofy. Creative. Introspective. A gnarly cook. An avid reader. Eager to learn and keep learning. When he spoke people listened. When he spoke he either made you think or laugh, and sometimes both. He was a spectacular father. He was a great friend. He will continue to inspire me all the days of my life.

What more can a daughter ask for?

xxb