Something to Think About

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Like every great ideas, this post came to me in the bathroom. I tried filming it last night, but I didn't even look half decent I'd end up just embarrassing myself. This post is going to talk about something personal.

If you know me or you have followed me for a while, you would know I lost my Dad when I was 7.  He fell sick when I was 5 and his condition never got better until the day he left us. I have no doubt that he was the greatest Dad in the world, despite the very short time I had with him. I also have a plenty amount of memories with him, I'm not worried that one day I'll forgetting about him completely and have him only as a distant memory. He lives inside of me everyday and some days I still feel like he is incredibly close to us.

There were a lot of things my father loved, two of them were his camcorder and his family. There was nothing fancy and simple like today, but my Dad make it a point to always document moments and archive some of them. I remembered when he was still healthy just before things took a turn, he spent his pastime editing the many footage he had and I did not understand it back then, but this very small thing became something that's very important to me. Out of dozens of tapes that never saw the light of day again, he made 3 films and transferred them into DV cassettes titled "Family", "Adhit" (my brother), and "Adani". I remembered one day just months before he passed and he was really sick, his big family visited our house and we watched these cassettes together with our old DV player. Thinking back, it's like he was watching back some parts of his life at the end of it, which is really sad. My sister never wanted to watch these films, I think it's because they just made her sad, unlike me, I liked watching them because I liked to be reminded what our family was like before he fell sick. We had everything we needed and more, we had a perfect life, too bad that life was very short-lived, at least for me.

After his passing, there was a time when those tapes were forgotten, and my mom stored them away maybe because it's too painful for her. I was the only one in the family who would actually ask and look for those tapes and wanted to watch them. I don't remember any of my family members wanting to watch them, except I have this vague memory of my Mom asking me to play it for her but I'm not sure if it did happen. It's true when they say people grieve in different ways.

Fast forward to a few years later, we have gone through a lot, I haven't seen those tapes in a long time, and asked my Mom to find them in the house. Funnily enough, the only one we could find was my film, the one titled "Adani". It's just as if God knew I was the one who needed it the most as I am the youngest in the family. The other two we couldn't find until this day, and I think my Mom stopped looking after we found my film. I had someone transferred my film into a VCD, and we managed to salvage some footage, although some of them had terrible quality, but I'm thankful for it.

When my Mom was pregnant.

That film started with my Mom when she was pregnant with me, and then snippets of my life until I was 4-5. There was nothing really special, like there was no birthday parties, it was just us living our lives and some parts of us on a holiday. But what's amazing is, now I can listen to his voice whenever I wanted to, and something as simple as that, that you may take for granted now, can mean so much when someone you love is gone. It sounds silly to be so emotional about someone's voice, but now it's been 15 years after he passed, and I can still hear his voice whenever I wanted to, isn't that just something?

My brother and sister. 
Singing Wannabe by Spice Girls! Iconic.
Dancing at a theater. I played a TURTLE.
My first piano concert.

My dad was always behind the camera, and he never liked being filmed. For some reason, there was a 3-4 seconds of him being filmed when we were in Saudi Arabia and my brother was asking my Dad how to record using the camera, and then he let my brother record him. My Dad was sitting next to me and my brother sat on the opposite side of the table. Instead of deleting this very random footage, he decided to keep it and insert it to my film. This 3 seconds of footage allow me now to not only hear his voice, but see him speak. That's a huge deal, a bigger deal than a lot of things in my life people would say is important. That 3 seconds of footage is one of the most precious things I have in my possession.

This film I have is nothing compared to other families, like the Kardashians, every time I watched their show and they start playing old footage of their family with their Dad, I envy them because those are treasure. Others don't even have the option because for a lot of people they don't have anything to look back to.

If there's anything this has taught me, is how important it is to document moments you have with your loved ones. Growing up I was always sure of that. For my 16th birthday, I asked for a camcorder. I didn't know anything about cameras, but I just wanted something I can record with. After that I sometimes bring it to school to document happy moments I had with my closest friends and then upload them to Facebook, raw and unedited, because this was before I knew YouTube. I didn't know regular people can do a lot of different things to videos.

If you think that if you ever lost someone you love, you will never be able to see old videos of you together because it will be too much, think about what if you were to leave them first, don't you want your family and friends to have at least the option? For me that film has helped me cope like nothing else has. I'm also the only one who can understand it, and understand how it makes me feel. I'm sure my Dad wouldn't mind if I chose to bury those clips forever because it would pain me to the bone, but he gave me the option. I know this sounds so depressing, but experiencing the death of a family member at such a young age, I grew up thinking death to be something that's close to me, it's not a taboo, it's something that is very very real.

I don't even know what I'm writing about anymore, but I hope you get my point. It's important to document moments.

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