The Professor

My ground floor apartment backs onto an unkempt garden that is full of what I think are some variation of day-lilies.

Day-lilies were one of amongst many of my Dad’s favourite flowers. I’d like to think I’m sort of surrounded by him-this thought, and this type of thinking has been difficult for me now in this last year as I have tried to find my new normal of life without my Dad’s physical presence. It’s been unbelievably tough. We all know we’re going to die and that it is a natural progression of life, but when you actually lose someone (regardless of how close they were to you, I think) nothing can prepare you for the constant tidal waves of sadness and loss. There is no accurate description for the incredible void you will experience. It’s horrible.

Last night, Ian and I stumbled across a movie to watch-The Professor. Neither of us had heard of it-it appears to be somewhat obscure, but nevertheless turned out to be hauntingly beautiful and contained a message that I have been rather desperate to hear since my Dad passed last June.

The plot follows an English professor who learns, in the too-late-stages-that he has cancer. We watched as the illness progressed and he charmingly lived his life right to the near end.

We later found out that the original title of the film was “Richard Says Goodbye”- eerily coincidental, as my Dad’s name was Richard. Richard, the Professor, also has a daughter named Olivia and they share a close and wonderfully loving relationship. Very much like what I had with my Dad.

I am sure, and I’ve been told that I have been likely inundated with winks and hints and nudges from my Dad since he passed. I’ve been too lost though and consumed in my sadness to recognize most.

This film, and the numerous synchronicities in its story were far too obvious to pass off as coincidental. It would have been impossible for me to ignore, and for that I am so so grateful as it brought a bit of peace to my otherwise very troubled mind.

It is at the very end of the film, where Richard has what is assumed to be his last conversation, with his daughter Olivia where he speaks the words that I have so wanted to hear my Dad say to me:

“I’m so proud of you. Because you possess everything that a father could ever want in a daughter, and more. So much more. You’re going to be alright. You’re going to be great. I love you so much my girl. You stay on this path of yours, you hear me? You stay on this path that’s yours. You’re doing it right kid. I’m going to miss you so much. I love you.”

With Love,

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Olivia Shaw

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