|Thanks to my sister for this video|
My dad played tennis. He planted palm trees, mango trees, and banana trees in our yard. He recorded hours of us playing with his camcorder, on various tapes that we would later play back on television. Kasi Sridhar, MD, was also an oncologist, and he saved many lives. A few of his patients have kept in contact with us. They express their gratitude by offering to help in various ways.
It's 2016, 15 years since my father died of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. My mother raised five of us alone, and we spent this Father's Day sitting out in our backyard, eating watermelon, and then picking mangoes from the trees that my father planted. We were testing out a new fruit picker that could reach high into the tree tops, and a mango fell on my head as we tried to catch it. The fruit picker worked like a charm.
The trees have grown into large canopies, with several rogue mango saplings having taken root in odd places. The key lime that my dad planted got chopped down after Hurricane Katrina, despite being perfectly healthy, but the curry leaf trees have blossomed. The bananas give fruit every several months.
I don't know what my dad would have thought of how I turned out. On one hand, I graduated with a Bachelor's and a Master's Degree, and have become a published author. On the other, I wasn't exactly the saint or the straight A student that my siblings were. He believed in the value of education, and of knowing what you wanted to do. He also supported my arts and crafts as a kid, and would have liked to see my reading habits. I'd like to think he was proud of me.
Happy Father's Day, to everyone who doesn't have a father this year. We made it this far. I hope your dads loved you as much as mine did.