Last night when I came home at 10:30, I thought I was going to go to bed immediately but instead I blogged and looked at pictures of dad. I was smiling when I looked at them. I finally went to bed at 1am and thought that after being up for almost 42 hours with no sleep, I would not be able to. I put my head on the pillow and snuggled in and the next thing I knew, the phone was ringing at 7am but I knew it wouldn't be the hospice this time. The phone has been ringing non-stop since early this morning and the calls are coming in from everywhere - England, Guyana, Florida, New York, Toronto, Ottawa and I am sure I am missing some places. We are a small family in Winnipeg but our extended family is literally all over the world and everyone that called has called my parents in the last few months and my dad talked to everyone of them.
Please don't feel bad if you cannot make it to Winnipeg. Your phone calls to Dad over the last months was more important than coming now even though you would be coming for us. But you can continue to keep in touch with mom. I am certain that she will need and appreciate it.
We were all busy today with our various duties. Bena and Mom went to Mom's house to finish the cleaning. Karran went to talk to the pandit to make arrangements for the service tomorrow. I went to the funeral home to finalize the arrangements for the service.
So these are the arrangements for you blog readers: Tomorrow - Thursday, there will be a private cremation for immediate family. We want to do the last rites with Dad, surrounded by his children and grandchildren. Next week Thursday, we'll have a memorial service to celebrate Dad's life. It will be held at the Manitoba Hindu Dharmic Sabha on 260 Manitoba Avenue at 4:pm. I will be putting an obit in the newspaper but people are calling and asking so for those reading the blog, these are the arrangements.
I asked Dad more than a year ago what he wanted us to do and his response was "you'll take care of things." When I said that I wouldn't know what to do he said "You'll know." I asked about a eulogy and he said "of course you'll do it." I protested vigorously, saying that I could not eulogize my father but he said "I wouldn't want anyone else. You'll know what to say." How about that for no pressure?
Thank you everyone for your generous support and love throughout this 5 year journey. Dad was an incredibly strong man in spirit and I think he would want us to carry on as though he is still here with us. We talked last night about how he must be glad to go home. He hasn't seen his father since he was 2 years old and he hasn't seen his mom since he was about 17 years old. That's an awfully short time to have your parents. I was blessed that I had 57 years.
Following domino protocol, he's probably found his domino friends and is wrapping at their table to be let in to the game. He was such a domino shark. He could read a game like the back of his hand! I remember him talking to my friend Prak a few months ago and Prak was reminding him about the games of dominoes he played at Prak's restaurant when he went to Toronto. He told Prak what he wouldn't do to play one last game. Prak would always refer to him as "The Dood" but I think he meant "the Dude" but he never called him that to his face. It was always respectfully Mr Bayney to Dad's face. All my friends he met while playing dominoes at Prak's restaurant loved him and always referred to him "the Dood" too and if there was one more thing that he would have loved, it would be one last game.
We'll have to play a few games with the family in the next few days but we are pretty feeble so it wouldn't be any fun matching cards rather than planning strategy. I'm smiling. I bet you're thinking of some memory of you and him and you're doing the same....