Letters to Papa

Dear Papa,

I hope this letter finds you well. Unlike this morning, when I left for work and heard you and Mom talking about your irregular heartbeats. My heart twitched a bit. My other heart, not the one that pumps blood. Not the one in your left chest that I’m worried about. The one that adores you more than I do.

Dear Papa,

Remember the time I used to sit on your lap, in front of your desk at our old apartement in Anapuni? You would recite the Qur’an with your own melody and I, still 4 at the time, thought you were singing. I remember the warmth of your hug, the solemnity of the ‘songs’ and the yellow glow of the lamp on your desk. Perhaps its because you sung them to me from really early, I know how to copy the melodies of your favorite verses. The favorite verses you wrote down in a note and slipped inside my copy of the Qur’an before I left for college in Jogja. For all the other verses, I try to make it as beautiful as you do.
I’m not afraid not being able to hear them later on. Because the verses, like you, will live forever on in my other heart.

Dear Papa,

I try to make you proud. As much as I am proud of you. I’m sorry I haven’t written a short story to any newspaper or magazine and haven’t completed my book like you always say I should. I guess, I’m not trying hard enough and easily lose focus. I’ll try harder Dad, I promise. I’ll read more too, I promise. Mom says I’m alot like you, putting off things until its almost too late. Thank you Dad, for the Sundays when we were little. For making us write compositions. For correcting our grammar and making us rewrite those darn compositions (giggles), before allowing us to turn on the TV. I’m just trying to make you proud, Dad. As much as I’m proud of you.

Dear Papa,

I forgot to turn of the AC again didn’t I? What if I said I did it on purpose, just so you’d send me a message. I laughed reading the last message you sent me

AC Si Minol cantik itu terbuang-buang lagi!

I could tell you were pissed. But still…hehehe. I love you, Dad!
Only you still call me Minol. Others call me Uni or Hargel. Even some of my highschool friends who were around when ‘Minol’ was born, write ‘Minull’ (rolls eyes). Only you call me ‘Honey’ and ‘Anak Papa’ (of course) and I love you for that too!

Dear Papa,

Having you as a father, as a teacher to discuss important things with, as a friend to talk about less important things with, as a buffer when I argue with Mom, as an old man who no longer has the strength to pick up and throw a giggly 4 year old to her bed pretending that its the sea… is simply to name a few of the precious gifts God has given me in this life through you.

Dear Papa,

You sure did put up a high standard for me to look for a husband, the father of my children. What can I say, they just don’t make men the way they used to. Men who would rather stay at home and watch made for TV movies and get excited whenever a tennis tournament is airing live. Men who love to take walks with their children to Pasar Seni Ancol and appreciate other people’s work. Men who take the time and effort to work things out whenever a storm hits his ship. Men who love. Men who care. Men who are affectionate. Men like you, Dad. All I can ask for is one that comes close to you. The only one I can ask is The One who created you. Or whatever type of man He thinks is right for me. Amin!

Dear Papa,

I hope this letter finds you well. I will be well. With all the love you’ve raised me with. With all the examples you’ve given. The afternoons will be as pretty as usual. The Moon, I will tell her you said, ‘Assalamu’alaikum.’ And when dragonflies come into the house, I will think you had sent them to say, “Hi, Honey. Dad’s doing just fine!”

Love, Your One and Only Daughter.


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