I was a happy, healthy child. I lost my father a few months after my seventh birthday, from blood clots that shattered his kidneys and brain.
He was in hospital for months before he died. He left only once after he was admitted that last time, to come to my seventh birthday party. He had lost so much weight by that point, his skin a yellow tinge, that no one dared to take a picture.
In truth I lost my father before he died. One day I walked into his hospital room and he didn’t know who I was. He’d had a stroke. If only someone could explain that to a seven year old.
People always said we were very much alike my father and I. I never thought much of it. When I turned 21 I found out that other than his posture and his fondness for salty foods, I had also inherited his propensity for blood clots.
I have no memory of his funeral, of his last months or indeed of him. Yet I remember very clearly what it felt like to be around him, to be loved by him, to have a dad. In this oftentimes-fatherless world I had a father. For that I am grateful.