A Letter to My Dad: Post Grad

Dear Dad,

I did it! I graduated from college! As this day approached, I have had a plethora of emotions, both negative and positive. Lately, I have been throwing fits about different aspects of my life — my friends, my family, my education, my future, etc. While you were battling cancer, one of your biggest concerns was my future… you told everyone that, and not because you were worried I wasn’t going to be successful, but because you knew you were my person. You made it very clear that you wanted your circle of family and friends to take care of me and look over me. I get it — all you knew dying was that I was going to college for the next 4 years or so. Every time I think about my graduation ceremony, I immediately tear up because I wish you were going to be there. During the times I am supposed to be the happiest, I always miss you the most.

I know you immigrated from India to this country with nothing in your pockets when you were my age so you could give your daughters a better life and a priceless education. In these last four years without you, I accomplished a lot. I failed a lot too. But, I’m almost more proud of my failures. I joined a sorority and served on the leadership board for it. I studied abroad in Paris, and it was the best investment I ever made in myself! I ate a lot of bread, drank a lot of wine, and walked everywhere in the city. I went to India a few times — almost to look for you, but I found myself. I volunteered countless hours to the cancer community and Camp Kesem and also served on the leadership board for them. I had a minimum wage making job throughout college to pay for my coffee and shoe addiction. I didn’t start off college with the best GPA, but I only improved and even made it on the dean’s honor list a few times. I had some internships in the finance industry and now I’m officially entering as an analyst at BlackRock!!! I met my goal of getting a competitive and intelligent job after college six months before graduating! I did a lot. I missed you a lot. I still miss you a lot. I cried a lot. I laughed a lot. I loved a lot. I hated a lot. I fell down. I made mistakes. I got back up. I fell some more. I grew and I did it. I thought I couldn’t do it without you. All the decisions I had to make, all the struggles I had to overcome, all the boys I had to let go of… I wanted to call you so badly. I wanted to ask you your opinion on what classes I should take. I wanted you to help me with my job applications and prepare me for the rigorous interviews. I wanted you to meet my boyfriends. I wanted to cry to you about the boys that broke my heart. I wanted you to see me go off to college. I wanted you to see me graduate. But, I still did it. I did it, Dad and I hope I’m making you proud.

Endless love,

Your Lulu

Congrats to all the 2017 graduates!

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Life Changing Moments

After my dad accepted his life was coming to an end, he was fighting just to see my sister and I graduate. He told his oncologist to do whatever it takes to keep him alive until June 20, 2013 (the day of my graduation). Four days after my dad passed away my sister graduated from The George Washington University. Five weeks after he passed away I graduated high school. It was one of the hardest days of those 5 weeks. As I was walking across the stage receiving my diploma, the superintendent of the school district shook my hand and said, “Your dad is so proud of you.” Walking down from the stage tears started falling from my eyes. Despite the high number of family members and friends that came to see me graduate, the only person I really wanted there was my father. At that moment, it hit me. I’m not going to have my dad at my college graduation, my wedding, the birth of my children, and so much more. I also realized he will always be with me-my dad will be in my heart even if he’s not physically there.

If you are in the sad situation where your parent’s life is coming to an end or you lost a parent due to cancer at a young age, know that your parent wanted to be at every single life changing moment. Whether it’s your first day of preschool or your first day of your new job, make sure to keep your parent in your heart. It’s going to be hard doing so many things without them, but it will have to become a new norm. Appreciate your loved ones while you can and make as many memories as possible because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I hope you find a way to get through events of your life while dealing with the hardships of the “C word”.