As I drive to the airport early this morning, my heart is heavy with sadness, I am going to say goodbye to my precious child and I drive in silence, “You okay dad?” she whispers, and I nod, glad she can’t see tears welling in my eyes, but I know, she knows the depth of my grief.
Many years ago, when she was born, my relatives had all been amazed at the closeness and rapport that developed between us. As a baby, crying with the pain of colic, all that was needed was me lifting her, and in an instant and to everyone’s amazement she stopped crying; just happy to be in my arms.
Those years as she grew up, I sometimes wondered what my world would be without her.
How would I live, I asked myself, and then brushed away these thoughts by telling myself there were many more years with her, so enjoy it, and I did.
And as she grew older, our bond just grew stronger.
She became the news anchor for a national TV channel, and though she broadcasted twice a day, there was not a programme, I did not watch. After her programme, she would message me asking for my comments, and if those comments were delayed and she suspected I’d been too busy to see her on air, she wasn’t too happy.
“What will happen to me when she marries and goes away?” I pondered quite often, as slowly I heard proposals coming in.
And then one day I looked out of my window, and let me tell you, I am so lucky to have wonderful trees just outside. There was a crow’s nest on one of the branches. I’d heard a commotion, and wondered what it was. And then I stared, it was a crow pushing it’s little baby out of its nest. The little crow cried, and squawked and created a din, but the mother or was it the father, was firm. And yet I realized what the parent bird was feeling; sad, that her child was leaving; a child he or she must have put their full life into. But now the little bird had to learn to fly on its own, and the only way was to push it out of the comfort of its nest.
Many of us don’t! We love to keep our children around us, either keeping them single or quite often getting them to live with their spouses along with us. Maybe I also would have loved doing that.
At the airport, my daughter waves, and as I drive back, even in my sadness, my heart feels lighter; she has learnt to fly the flight of life. Like the parent bird it had been my duty to push her, for her to learn and I had done what all parents are supposed to do..!
By Robert Clements