12-08-2016 - Vilamoura - Lick my wounds
"Try to love your siblings, your acquaintances actively and tirelessly. As you achieve progress in loving the others, you will convince yourself about God's existence and the immortality of God's soul. If you self sacrifice to love who surrounds you, you will believe in it without any kind of doubt and no doubt will enter in your soul."
Fiódor Dostoievki - The Brothers Karamazov
My father died some years ago. I do not remember how many years ago he passed away. I also do not keep in mind what was the exact date when he died. I have a record of his death certificate, but I did not open it or look at it ever since. I just remember he died around August 15th because in Portugal it is celebrated the assumption of Mary.
My father did not love me.
I was just a biologic product that resulted from sex intercourse with my mother. He never supported me with money - he had the responsibility to pay a pension as a result of the divorce, but he was clever enough to get a court agreement in compensation of half of a brand new apartment my mother bought - he never provided some advice, any kind of wise words, he never bought me a football ball or played in a park like everybody else.
This is how I got surrounded by women since I was a kid. And being educated by women, from by mother, my aunt, my grand mother, provided me fiercely resiliency that only a woman can provide.
This year I was aware that I need to deal with my father's remains exhumation. Unless you have a reserved plot of land in the cemetery, you cannot keep a grave for eternity. I had an entry in my task list only mentioning the coordinates where my father is buried. That gave me all the information I needed to handle the case.
In June I was in Portugal to chair BPM Conference Portugal. Before I left to Cape Town, I checked the mailbox and there was a letter from the local government agency that manages the cemetery, with a reminder to start the exhumation process. I did not read all the letter. It was obvious by the header that time has come to deal with it.
It was only on my arrival to Cape Town that I skimmed across the full letter. There were, basically, two viable options, to keep the skeleton bones or to turn the remains into ashes. The latter meant any memory from my father will be erased, like in the day I deleted his contact entry from the phone address book. I already had partially erased my father before. When my elder daughter was born, I did not put his family name. The same happened when my youngest daughter was born too. I never introduced my daughters to him. If he never wanted to become a father, I assumed he will never become a grandfather as well. hence, I was inclined towards the crematory option. However, he had a mistress, that called me when he died and told me he was still lukewarm when she approached him after he had no inner life (a fact that I was really displeased to hear). The mistress did not show up during the funeral service, but when I visited my fathers grave, I noticed that time to time, fresh flowers and candles were just been put on on top of the green marble.
This made change my mind. Probably it made more sense to keep a future memory of my father's for the sake of the mistress's soul.
Two years before my father died, he was seriously hill. He needed a double ankle surgery. My father always relied in the principle that the universe should take take of him, not the other way around. My father was so selfish that the concept of paying it forward did not exist. If during all his life he never cared about his only child, about anyone to be true, why he should take care about himself either? When I noticed that the surgery was not going to happen trough the national health system, I told him I was going to pay for it, as well as, for the after surgery care provided by a specialized elderly service enterprise.
It is funny how I was proposing to assume to do something for my father, that I was denied for it, during his all life existence. I also realized after the funeral, when I contacted the bank to wire the money he had in the current account, he could afford to pay the surgery from his own pocket, if he made a choice to go for a private health service provider. This is just to put into perspective how stubborn he was. In his mind, the world existed to serve him.
I could not save my father from his errors. When I decided to support the surgery, he needed to carry some preparatory procedures that took too long and unfortunately it was to late to save him. I felt responsible for what happened, however, he is the primary responsible for his own undoing.
Three days ago, I was informed that the exhumation process could not be completed. According to the report, there were still biologic remains that were not consumed. As a result of that, my fathers grave would be preserved for more two years. One way or the other, he is going to persist in the current state. The primary idea I had to erase him perceptually had a dependency I neglected.
I wished I had a son. He would have the name Nicholas. I would gave him love that my father never wanted. I tend to think that only that would forgive all the sins my father committed.