My Father’s Birthdate

At exactly today – fifty eight years ago – my father was born in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. His parents, my grandparents, and also my mother and her whole family, they were all born in Padang, West Sumatra. But my father is just like me and my sisters, we have parents who were born in Padang but we ourselves were born and raised in Jakarta. I have many memories about him, the good and the bad. I was fourteen when he passed away that year..

I remember he texted me a happy birthday message at October. No body has ever thought that the on next month, 18 November 2003, he would be gone forever. So the last time I gave him a birthday gift was on 18 March 2003, I gave him a little pretty sculpture written “I love my Dad” with golf set picture on the corner, he didn’t play golf though but I think it was cool. I wasn’t really a good kid back then, my parents would yell and told my to study over and over. It’s not that I’m dumb and had really bad scores and stuff, but I’m not that smart kid. Many parents would want their children to be the best of course.

I had a hard time moving on from the mourning time. I mean, at the first day when he passed away, I feel nothing. I was like, what is happening? What are we doing? People are coming to our house and sad flowers are all over in front of it. And then the next few days, maybe weeks, I would cry. I started to realise that he was gone. It stops though, maybe after a month, and the next few months, I don’t cry but I regret things. I regret things that I would not have done and things that I should have done. And I started to have questions. Questions that are normally asked directly to my father but now that he’s gone, I told myself to keep these questions so that later when we meet again in different life, I could ask him about them.


(Dad, 18 March 1957 – 18 November 2003)

But today is almost twelve years later. If he is still alive, he would be 58 years old today. Maybe he is retired from his banking job by now, maybe I am not a software tester by now. Maybe we would have different lives. But it’s the life we have. I moved on. I spent today just like every other days. Working as usual, and went out at the evening with my girlfriends to watch Cinderalla (it was a good one). Maybe just a tiny difference, I bought this book “Sabtu Bersama Bapak” today exactly at my father’s birthdate. I have been wanting to read this book since a couple of weeks ago but it’s just a coincidence that I bought it today. It is rated 4.3 out of 5 in goodreads, so I hope I will enjoy this book.





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