Forgiveness is a funny thing
It warms the heart and cools the sting

- William Arthur Ward -
He was born this day in 1945. At least that was what he estimated it to be. His parents didn't go to school and they didn't have his birth date recorded in the Gregorian calendar (or Christian calendar). All he knew that his mother said that he was born some time during the fasting month that year. So he counted and checked when the fasting month was in 1945 and he chose a date that could suit him and his personality.

But that's not important. What is important is we have a date when we can celebrate his birthday, even when he is not physically here with us.

We are all healed now from the pain when he left us in 1997. It was then and after the hardest time in our life ever. It was when we learnt that people were actually wearing masks, literally all the time. It was when we lost trust to even the closest tie of relatives and we gained it back through friends who did not have any blood relationship with us. His leaving us was super painful, but it taught us about life and people better than anything could.

I came across this French song that Vincent had in his playlist titled Mon Vieux (My Old Man). I always liked the tunes but I didn't know the meaning until last December. And my, it so described my dad and how it got me to cry like a baby. So I'm sharing the song here with you. It moves me a lot and it brings great memories about my father.

Lyric and translation courtesy of
Dans son vieux pardessus râpé
Il s'en allait l'hiver, l'été
Dans le petit matin frileux
Mon vieux
Y'avait qu'un dimanche par semaine
Les autres jours, c'était la graine
Qu'il allait gagner comme on peut
Mon vieux
L'été, on allait voir la mer
Tu vois, c'était pas la misère
C'était pas non plus le paradis
Hé oui, tant pis
Dans son vieux pardessus râpé
Il a pris pendant des années
Le même autobus de banlieue
Mon vieux
Le soir en rentrant du boulot
Il s'asseyait sans dire un mot
Il était du genre silencieux
Mon vieux
Les dimanches étaient monotones
On ne recevait jamais personne
Ça ne le rendait pas malheureux
Je crois, mon vieux
Dans son vieux pardessus râpé
Les jours de paye, quand il rentrait
On l'entendait gueuler un peu
Mon vieux
Nous, on connaissait la chanson
Tout y passait : bourgeois, patrons
La gauche, la droite, même le bon Dieu
Avec mon vieux
Chez nous y'avait pas la télé
C'est dehors que j'allais chercher
Pendant quelques heures, l'évasion
Tu sais, c'est con !
Dire que j'ai passé des années
A côté de lui sans le regarder
On a à peine ouvert les yeux
Nous deux
J'aurais pu, c'était pas malin
Faire avec lui un bout de chemin
Ça l'aurait p'têt rendu heureux
Mon vieux
Mais quand on a juste quinze ans
On n'a pas le coeur assez grand
Pour y loger toutes ces choses-là
Tu vois
Maintenant qu'il est loin d'ici
En pensant à tout ça, je me dis
"J'aimerais bien qu'il soit près de moi"

In his old, threadbare overcoat
He would go off, in summer, in winter
In the little, cold morning
My old man
There was only one sunday a week
The rest of the week, he would work
To earn money like he could
My old man
In summer, we would go to the sea
You know, it wasn't misery
It wasn't paradise either
Yeah, too bad
In his old, threadbare overcoat
Several years long he took
The same suburb bus
My old man
In the evening, as he'd come back from work
He would sit down without saying a word
He was rather silent
My old man
Every sunday was monotonous
We would never invite anyone
But he wasn't sad about it
I guess, my old man
In his old, threadbare overcoat
On paydays, when he'd come back home
We could hear him shouting a little
My old man
To us, it was always the same old song
He'd criticise everything—rich people, bosses
The left, the right wing, even God
That was my old man
We didn't have TV at home
Instead, I'd go out for a walk
For some hours, to get out of it
That's dumb, ya know!
To think I spent several years
Beside him without ever giving him a look
We barely opened our eyes
The two of us
It wasn't very clever of me 'cause I could
Have accompanied to the bus stop for once
Perhaps he would've liked it
My old man
But when you're just fifteen
Your heart isn't big enough
To hold all those stuffs in it
You know
Now that he's far from here
When I remember all this, I think to myself
'I wish he were by my side right now'

I guess I'm gonna make a birthday cake for him today.