Making It About Him

October is dedicated to you, Daddy. R.I.P. ❤

One day I’ll have the words. I have to believe that. The strength required to put myself at the heart of it. For some, that’s a part of life that remains nonnegotiable. Being able to delve, at any cost…to have the words. And it’s no less true of myself.

What strikes me?

Every time I come to 7th Avenue’s F train or Q train stop, where he worked for 35 years, his friends playful in their dubbing him “the Mayor of Park Slope” — a salute to his knowing so many of the locals, having managed 300+ properties in New York, most of them located in Park Slope.

Every time I’ll pass by his floor-to-ceiling office windows, where he sat at his first pick, the seat closest to the outside world. The better to wave at the subjects of a kingdom he loved as much as his own.

I’m a part of his personal kingdom in Brooklyn. That is the part I speak to…

Maybe it’s just a feeling that won’t go away. I mean, the problem is that when I see any photograph of you, I don’t believe you’re not in the world. Would I want to? You are the most familiar piece. The problem for us: I’m not fully grown, but I’m not inexperienced in having you in my life. The problem for us is that it’s always been our truest reality. Lucky me.

From the beginning of memories, I placed you and mommy as ‘the parents’ in my life. Those are my parents. I stepped back to cognitively memorize that fact of my life. My anchor was clear in that moment. There was actually a moment. We were in a shopping mall. I was lucky. You, omnipresent.

The question of whether it was better to have loved and lost. I always know the resounding answer for me is yes.

A father’s love. It’s complicated, scarily so, how special the relationship can be. He teaches you how to say “I love you.” How to be. Even if he doesn’t realize any of this while doing so. It’s a love you continue to prove with your fears and anxieties. Perhaps none more than when it’s “too late”, when he’s gone…

I read books to find the language, the tools, knowledge. But I can’t relate worse than this. Something inside me was dead to my love. To myself.

Dr. Teischman, my dentist, told me he had a special relationship with my father. It’s why I’m still on his insurance.

When a psychic in Jaipur, India read my palm: “Your dad is an important man.” I’m fairly realistic so I know no one but no one recognizes his name out there. But still, 14-year-old me (and yes, of-the-present-time me) didn’t doubt it for a second. Not a quack. He’s true.

Today, my mother told me to go to the corner, but I’m his daughter, too. If any one of his children can leave their corners, I’ll find my place right in the center. Until, like him, I no longer belong.

This month, I finally planned his memorial a full year after his death. It went beautifully. I’ll always be half in love with the things I experienced and felt that night. It was damned near impossible to fully live without doing something in a tribute to him. What I want to talk about is how it feels now that its come and gone.

I’ll never fully remember or forget him. This is something I know I must accept.

The time has been passing, to prove to us that it simply does. October 12th begins to feel very long ago indeed. Both October 12th, 2014 and October 12th, 2015. I’ve been forgetting as I move around my day-to-day life, focusing on not losing sight of life and its daily questions. Wondering what to do with my bouts of escapism and my failed attempts, and my perfectionism in emotionalism.

Did I lose you? But that’s precisely what I don’t want.

A Turkish (Türkçe) lesson. Senı sevıyorum is I love you. ❤


Originally published at stephaniealirkan.com on October 26, 2015.