..Is what people keep telling me.. And that my Father is very lucky and very loved by the Big Guy for this reason. We've been to City Hall, we've ordered the food and drink for 100 people.. We went to the cemetary and picked a spot.. We (ten of us) carried him down the stairs from the third floor in a casket.. We took him to the mosque where he was bathed one final time- and yes of course I insisted on being present and helping out.. Now he's back in the casket, staged in front of the mosque (which is not a casket in a true sense- it's used only for transport) as brother and I wait for Friday prayers to end. When they do, people will flood out and surround the casket and pray some more. After that it's a short trip to the cemetary, where everyone who wasn't here at the mosque (the women of the house) will be waiting. I'm told that the way it works is that my brother and I get into the grave and help lower Father into it. He's wrapped in three seamless pieces of white cloth-that's it, there's no casket. Strangers are walking up and praying, squeezing our hands. My eyes are bloodshot and raw. I probably look like I will be next to go.. While my younger brother Ali is as poker faced and calm as a Hindu Cow... Wife has been falling apart a lot. She and my Dad had a special father-daughter bond.
It's bright, sunny and 80+ degrees, just like every day is here in Mudanya, just like California. I'm looking forward to my next bike ride, my next race, and every one which follows.. Because I have this far fetched hope.. That Father will finally and easily see how hard I try.. How seriously hard I work to be the best I can be.. He'll excitedly stand with a clenched fist as I wind up a finishing sprint and attack and open up an unclosable gap..
I'm delirious.. Dreaming.. I miss him so much..
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