I don’t know how to start, what to write. I starred the white color on the screen of my laptop for a long time. I might hadn’t written anything but this time you would say “Why did you stop writing?”
The last sentences of my previous article were: “The journey I did with Elif had to be at this pace, it had to be slow. In this adventure that bicycle had to fall, and the seat tube had to crack. In this adventure, the welder had to melt seat tube. riding on the road to Bolivia and nobody could reach me. I wouldn’t have a conversation with my father. All those happened, so I had to return to talk to you.”
I had returned to Santiago halfheartedly. I told about what had happened during the last two months on the road to my dad fighting against cancer for the last 9 months. Why we were going at such a low pace, what happened to the bike, why it happened, by whom we were hosted, about the journey we were doing together with Elif. I was sending everyday photos specifically meant for him.
The first day I returned to Santiago we had a video talk, but the other days I had caught him in sleep and we couldn’t talk. On November 19th we had again a video talk with mum and dad. I had sent photos of my bike. Then, I had talked about my new dreams, about that endless dreams. He said his opinion and smiled at me and then: “My son, take care of yourself, we’ll talk again” and hang up.
I had gone shopping in a grocery at 8:30 p.m. (2:30 a.m. in Turkey) in Santiago and was placing the produce I’d bought in the kitchen. My ears started to tingle, first a shrill sound and then tingled such I had never had before. The pain increased that much that I had to crouch down and stopped after a while. What was this? At night I had posted my new article on my web page and gone to bed.
My brother called me at 2 a.m. (at 8 a.m. in Turkey). He was crying. My dear brother, oh my dear brother. I was on the bed, my blood pressure, pulse, everything turned upside down. I couldn’t straight myself up the bed…. I couldn’t straight up my head.
- Brother, so sorry for our loss, our father passed away in his sleep.
My mom took the phone, she was crying also, didn’t know what to say. Oh my dear mom…
- My sonnnn, you are there on your own, my dear take care of yourself, my son.
When I learned that he had cancer I said: “My father will fight”. He fought against the cancer spread throughout his body for 9 moths denying any medical cure. He was standing on his own feet till the last day. But my father lost his fight against this illness. In sort of way you get used to it and say he’ll fight against it, “Dude, he is my dad! He has to win his fight against that virus!” You feel hard to accept it. Alright we won’t live forever, we’ll all pass away but it is hard to accept for a while, hard to accept to know he’s gone. You feel helpless
We say rest in peace. What shall I tell about you, about the lives you saved, about the shelters you built for animals, the homes you found for the animals? Shall I tell about the trees you planted anonymously far and wide in Turkey, about the children you were supporting for their education or about the people you supported? No need to tell, you would say. We have just arrived and will go, nothing else matters, you would say. You were not only Gurhan’s and my dad, you were also the father of all our friends. You have shared your experiences with all of us. I didn’t tell any of them that you have gone but all were there on that day. May god bless them.
They all called me: “Dear Gurkan, we are here, keep going, don’t worry we’ll take care of, kiss you”. They were the ones who washed your body, carried you on their shoulders, who planted flowers on your grave. You were a father to all of us. You were our Şero Genç.
A few headings from the last letter he wrote to us, me and my brother…
1 – Your priority should be your health, take care of yourself.
2 – Kokinetim, Minikişim, Fiticiğim (as my father was calling mom) was always there for you, so be the same for her.
3 – Don’t ever breach or neglect the humanity and fellowship as in the bad examples you have witnessed. Try to give priority to sympathy, respect, honesty, solidarity and reciprocity in your relationships both among yourselves and the third parties.
4 – Don’t get stick in the past but also don’t forget the past. Do not change your leading decisions without a good reason.
5 – Talk on issues only after you have knowledge about those. Buy and read at least 12 books per year. Keep away from ignorant people and ignorance, if you have to get in contact keep it short.
6 – I believe in you that you step in the right directions making use of your own experiences and make the best out of your lives.
With all my love
As you are expecting from me, I’ll go on my way. All what you have taught me is in my mind, in my heart. You have sent me many books to read, this year. I’ll be able to finish them in a year. Then, I’ll continue to buy books the same way my dear dad. Mom, my brother and I will try to do what you have told us to do. We’ll see each other… I don’t remember at which class we were at the primary school, but I have never forgotten the first foreign song you made us listen to…
Thank you for everything dad, thank you so much. Gika, Guhan, Fitip we all kiss you…
October 6, 1951 – November 20, 2018
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I’ve traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way!
Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way
I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing!
And now, as tears subside
I find it all, all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way
Oh no, no, not me!
I did it my way
Why I returned to Santiago, the capial city of Chile, was written in my previous article. Well, all had been to live those special moments. I had to go through all these. The other way, I wouldn’t get into contact with my father, wouldn’t talk to him and see him. That was my destiny… While returning I had said to Elif, there may a reason. When my bike and I get ready, I’ll set off again. I renewed my visa at Foreigners Branch in Santiago. I don’t want to talk or write in for the present. I need some time. I’m grateful for your understanding.