Nadia Khalique

Mon Jun 29 2020 04:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

44011Nha

“To be able to utter the word ‘dad’ and come home to the arms of a father is a privilege many take for granted. I lost my dad to cancer when I was 11 months old. I have no memory of being held by him and I never got to call anyone ‘dad’. What makes it bittersweet is that my father was an outstanding man whose name still carries volume 25 years later. He was a lawyer, an actor, and most importantly, an advocate. He is the reason that a village in Bangladesh has a gas line. Whenever individuals speak of my father, they tear up and tell me that I have his smile.

However, my whole life I’ve been running from the void that he left behind. I didn’t know how to process the emotions that followed long after his death. How do you mourn a person you never met? Am I wrong for being resentful that he’s not alive and the impact it had on my family? To grow up without a father is like living in a home with a broken roof. You're in constant search of shelter and when it rains, it pours. My mom had to work day and night to support my brothers and me. I felt ostracized my whole life because all my peers had both of their parents. They would come home to home-cooked meals and I’d be lucky if my babysitter remembered to pick me up on time.

As I got older, I knew I had to make a decision. Either I would be another statistic caused by misfortune or I would make a difference with the cards that God dealt me. I decided to join the mental health field and speak to those who are also on the brink of losing hope. I graduated from college and vowed to create a better life for myself and for everyone around me.

The loss of my father made me realize that life is short and what you leave behind matters the most. I want to be like my dad. I want to continue his legacy. I want to die knowing I helped people and cherished the important things in life. After experiencing loss that is out of your control, you learn how to cherish the simple things in life. If you are one of the lucky ones who still have their father in their life, please give them a hug and have mercy on them for their mistakes. Some of us would give up everything to have a day in your shoes.”