A Daughter's Eulogy

First and foremost: I did, do, and will always love my Father very dearly.

Secondly and perhaps just as important, I am so very proud of him.

His presence, his impression, his pride, his principles, his aim, his will, his love, his intensity, his smile, his hands. Overall and most importantly, His soul.

A few months ago, my mother told me she had heard some great news from my aunts: My Dad was clean, stable, and taking care of himself. Maybe you don’t know, or maybe you do… That was the best second-hand news I had received in years. When my mother told me the few details she knew, I felt like something that had always been bigger than me had given in, at last. I felt a shared mercy. Then I felt an excited pride.

At the time (in October or November), he had been clean for about two years. Maybe more, maybe less; I don’t know for sure at the moment. But I assure you, that man deserves credit for every single day of sobriety. I’m sure it was no easy task. In reality, I don’t know what it was like for him. None of us do. Two years is a long time. In my father’s struggles, two years of healthy living was gold!

I know you’re reading this (or listening to this) and you have your own sense of “Jabbar.” Most likely, you see him in a similar way, as a similar man, generally and overall. But you must remember -- He was my father. Think of your own fathers, without judgment, and with compassion, and you may fully understand why I see Jabbar Khabir in a very, very special and different light.

He was….he is my father. My father. My daddy…, though, I suppose I’ve had to set aside my natural possessiveness, from time to time, and share him and my mother with my sister Zakiya.

When I was young. My Dad was my great source of attention. He was my piggyback ride, my movie mate, my barbershop customer, my walking buddy, and my foot tickler. The man was fun! At other times, Dad was my adamant lecturer…my intense Scorpio image, reflected back at me.

I have always been science-minded, so he was my first male subject…. and I observed. Daughters tend to attach to their fathers, so he was my first love. I took care of him and defended him the best I could. I was my father’s little girl. And he was the Man!

When I grew older and into my teens, I stumbled over a truer version of our family story. I found/heard a few more accounts, but unfortunately, I had to come up with my own explanations and answers. With those explanations, came more questions. With those answers, came my confusion – my disappointment, doubt, hurt, and depression. I had a very hard time reckoning. Partially, because of my age and my environment, but my depression was just as significantly affected by my chemistry.

I’m very happy to say I’m doing much better these days. Better than ever, actually...but as my father could be, I am an adamant lecturer on occasion as well:

This day is not about me. It’s not about you. It’s not about who loved him more. Who he loved more. Who ranks where, who feels more, who lost more. I think we all feel and can agree, this day is about Jabbar. So let’s give him his day.

With him gone, I feel I have a duty to fulfill his legacy, which was to pull our family and other families back together, to let my loved ones, friends and family know how deeply I feel for and about them; and to show them how proud I am of them, us, her, him, you, me....and my father.

My priority is to give him the send off he deserved and to show others, through my words or by my example, how important it is to say what you need to say to your loved ones TODAY and not tomorrow. I put off speaking to my father for a year, because I was ashamed of my battle with depression and anxiety. I though I needed to be cured/healthy before I could let myself let him in. He tried and tried to talk with me and see me. I'm trying to forgive myself for not opening the door when he came down to my house a few months ago.

None of us are promised another day, so enjoy the morning, noon, and night. Do not regret the past, it is what has cultivated you. Setting goals for the future is VERY important, but FEEL the day, the hour and the minute when you can remember to. Our minds tend to automatically drift back to the past or anticipate the future. "Be here now" and experience your life in the present also..., or your life just might pass you by. Try your best, Try not to let fear rule your life or prevent you from showing or giving love. Recognizing a problem in your life, after thoughtful reflection, is the first step to finding the remedy. Though you are unique, the only person who will ever live your life in this time and place, realize we all have been through pain. You have never been alone and you never will be. That's the way of this life and it functions well under necessity and interdependence. If there is a will, there is a way. I promise you. It may take time, thought, energy, change in location. It may take a demonstration of your strength or it may take surrender and submission. But you can do anything. There is a Way. Take care of yourself, first and foremost (mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually/morally/etc). Only then will you have something beautiful to give. --- Believe it or not, we ALL want to give love, have it received and appreciated and we'd like to get some back, in return or not. We can only change ourselves. We can only inspire change in others. It all requires a person to be ready, willing, and able. It requires all three. Time heals all wounds. Change is the only constant in this physical world. Knowledge is freedom. Faith without work is dead. "Dark is not the opposite of Light; It is the absence if Light." Ultimately, there is never a need to lie to anyone about anything. The truth will, in fact, set you free. So Be True To Yourself! Always.

Thank you for reading,

Jamila Khabir