Frequently, I think about the world in animated cartoons. When I think about different people, their cartoon image pops up in my head, and some key memories I’ve associated with them “autopopulate” around that image. I have a quirky brain.
With Papa, it’s being in elementary school and having him come pick up me up from class to take me out to Subway for lunch. Even at a young age, my love and loyalty could be secured through food. In all seriousness, it was this…special thing. We didn’t talk about anything in particular that I remember, but it was fun. I looked forward to it.
I have this sense of adventure. This itch to travel, see the world, learn different cultures, and experience…things. It started with our first trip I can remember, to Washington DC with Papa, Dada, and Dadi-Ma. Then it was Paris. Then national parks. Then driving across the country. Then it was talking about the trips he was planning. My dad planted that seed in me; that desire to see the world in it’s blemished entirety.
I remember the first thing I ever really baked was a pineapple upside down cake. My mom was out of town at a conference, and I was probably around 12, and I wanted to surprise my dad at dinner. I made it, I’m sure it looked okay (though in my memory, it was gorgeous), and I remember Papa eating some…and getting this look on his face. He took another bite, and called it interesting. I got mad. I tried some. Turns out, I had mixed up the salt and sugar amounts. He started laughing. That’s probably when I started learning how to laugh at my mistakes and myself.
My college graduation, my wedding, my medical school acceptance, my white coat ceremony, my match day on facetime, and my medical school graduation — I remember my dad smiling. Not a toothy smile, but his smile. Each one is a memory stuck to his Mita-mental-cartoon.
The vehemence with which I love my family sometimes surprises me. It’s particular days like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, etc that I think about just how deep that love and respect goes, and how much they have taught me. I’m always taken back by it. Happy Father’s Day to fathers out there, and particularly to mine who gave me adventure, laughing, and a love of Subway.