I'm sorry. I haven't been here in what feels like forever. The practical reason for this is that I have been without a computer for the last couple of weeks. The real reason though, the reason I have no words and nothing to say, is that my Dad died on Friday. I am numb, and I am wordless.
After a long and awe-inspiringly courageous battle against cancer, which began in his colon and spread through his liver, lungs, spine, bones, and finally his brain, he died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of Friday morning, surrounded by the people who loved him, with my sister and I asleep on either side of him. He was sixty-one.
I can't imagine a world without my dad in it. He was the most generous, kind, loving, eccentric, wonderful man in the world. He filled a room. He made a party. He lived for music and beauty and family, and for each and every day. He will leave behind him an unfillable space, and a quiet to which we are unaccustomed.
Ruby understands, I think, in the way only a three-year-old can. She had a dream, a week or so before he died, about flying with her Baba, holding his hand. She says he can live in her heart, and that there are stairs in her body for him to get in. She blows kisses out of the window to him at bedtime. She reminds me that he is not ill any more.
It seems wrong, that these few sentences should be all I have to sum up my father, when I would normally find such comfort in words upon words, but for now I am mute. I could talk about the incredible things he has done, the funny stories and the cock-ups, the bravery and the reconciliation, but silence feels more fitting, more natural right now. The words will come, in time, I'm sure.
I love you, Baba. I will miss you forever. I am proud and thankful to have known you.
Always your daughter,