The way Appa held the sponge-tipped brush of white shoe polish. The way he ran the snowy viscosity over my scuffed canvas shoes, on top of the laces, around the eyelets. The way he placed my shoes under the…
My father died seven years ago. Right after, I allowed mundane activities to overwhelm the profound, life-changing event. For a while, everyday chores offered numbness. They formed a wall behind which I tucked away the loss and the grief I wasn’t able to confront or absorb, much less articulate.
A year and a half after he died, random memories began to peek and tease from behind the wall of time, like gleaming gems. Eventually, they formed a beautiful slideshow of moments, offering both comfort and joy.
We’re not big on words of love in our family. But my father showed us how much he cared through his actions, every single day he was with us. What he did for us speaks loud enough to linger, to stay. And now, I am putting them together in words, so his love can live on.
SUDHA BALAGOPAL’s recent work appears in Flash Frog, Fractured Lit, Monkeybicycle, and Hypertext, among other journals. Her novella-in-flash, Things I Can’t Tell Amma, was published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2021. She has a story in Best Microfiction 2021 and is listed in the Wigleaf Top 50 for both 2019 and 2021. Her work has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best Small Fictions.