Last night, I realized that I wasn’t able to say the word “Babe” anymore. This new situation was a bit awkward for me, though I believe, deep down in my heart, that my father is much more alive now. Perhaps, I will not see him physically as I always experienced before, yet my brothers and I agreed that since the day of our father’s death we would find him everywhere: in our heart, our mind, each step of our feet, each smile we share, each laughter we make; he’s always around.
Two days ago I came to the important stage of my life that I never dreamt of, before. Losing a father is much different, though the word losing seems childish to me. I suddenly realized the essence of losing when people started to close my father’s coffin. That was the last time I saw all figures that I had been familiar with: his long legs, warm hands, gentle smile, and friendly face.
Yes, he is full of love, though, sometimes, he showed his love by asking such silly question. When I decided to move from my former Senior High School he only said yes and asked me briefly but sure, “Are you sure?”. Above all, he never complained on any decision we made or protested on any path we chose. Often, I felt that he was the only father who really understood whose daughter was. He never wanted me to dress like my Mom did. He took me to the mountains, taught me to play tennis, taught me to drive his jeep, and allowed me join the tae- kwon-do team. He was only smiling when people asked his reasons for allowing me to do such masculine things. “That’s my daughter”, he said wisely.
Two days ago at his funeral, I didn’t only become his little daughter, yet for the first time in my life, I really belonged to my father’s life. He was just only an ordinary man, with his strength and weakness. Long time ago, he was a young boy who dreamt of wearing the navy costume and staying at the navy ship. And, he made his dream come true in the next years. He loved his world in the ship. He loved being a soldier.
As a young boy, he was only taught to reach all stars in the sky and he found his miracle when he married my mother. He was the husband who adored his wife as his perfect soul mate. They shared their ups and downs for years and they were proud of seeing their five children grew as the humans who own their own life. Finally, he realized that he came to a new phase in his life when he welcomed his grandchildren to the family.
Two days ago, my father started his new life in which I believed it would be different from what he experienced all years. My Mom said in her eulogy that he was still here, yet he was only preparing the new life in a while. Yes, I do agree that he is still here. Perhaps, I will not use the word “Babe” anymore, but that word has emboldened in my soul, ensuring me that I am tougher now because my "Babe" has taught me everything of life.
My father was just like sleeping on the sofa when I watched him in the coffin. I guess, that was a nice sleep, and my dad was starting his new journey to the world where love never ends, as he always shared the one to us.
Jogjakarta, January 11th 2010
in memoriam of
Ignatius Prijadi Hastomo
July 4th 1931- Jan 9th 2010