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Missing you

HT reader Minal Bhatia on her father-in-law.

sex and relationships Updated: Feb 23, 2009 15:13 IST

I eloped with my boyfriend and married him when I was 18. I was sceptical about my father-in-law’s reaction. He was supposed to be very strict.

Initially, I was scared of him but with time, I changed my opinion. Soon, we became the best of friends. He guided me when I was confused and has prevented serious misunderstandings between my husband and me. He has also made me realise my shortcomings.

He encouraged me to make better use of my free time by learning new things. I became computer literate and realised how useful it was when dealing with net-savvy children. Then with age, he grew frail and was bedridden. We hired a male nurse to look after him. But he insisted that I take care of him.

I’m in tears while writing this. I haven’t recovered from his death yet. I know life can never be a bed of roses but his words of wisdom still guide me and keep me on the right track.

Every time I’m troubled, I look at his picture and ask him for help. And I feel as if his hand is stroking my hair and saying, “Don’t worry, I’m always with you and your family.” I had never felt the absence of my parents for the 17 years of my marital life when he was there. I do now.