Keti Jishkariani, 18, Batumi

“My dad was an artist, which means he was frequently jobless. Mom had to work so my little sister Lika and I spent most of the day with dad. If you asked me to choose between dad and chocolate, I would pick dad. He was everything to us. He, with Lika on his neck, and I walked Batumi streets carefree. We were dad’s girls. Every day, mom left him to us to take care of. We would comb his hair and fix his tie for him.

With our mother away all day, dad had to do the household chores. He was quite good at it. I can easily claim that dad’s the best cook out there. It’s not a stereotype, just the experience I’ve had.

After his death, everything turned upside down. I couldn’t make any decision as I had lost the person who had made me feel safe and relaxed. I started watching my friends’ families, wondering what their fathers were like, how they took care of their children, what remarks they made to them and how they did it. I watched closely and listened to every phone call that started with “Hi, dad”.

I observed their relationship with their dads and frequently wondered how different our relationship had been from others. I have to say, the gender balance was different because it is usually a woman who does housework in Georgia. I guess, in some families these roles are a result of the economic situation and in others – a by-product of cultural traditions. Still, I am happy that my experience was so different and I was given a chance to see that dads can be caring and moms – breadwinners. Let me tell you, our family was a quite effective one.

There is another problem I’d like to mention. Nowadays, parents are so much focused on securing their kids financially that they forget about the spiritual bond. Relationship with parents do not go past parental obligations and do not grow into friendship. That’s right, parents don’t know how to be friends with their children, that is why family members suffer from lack of love, the kind of love that is not just based on blood relation.

Probably because the gender roles in my family were not traditional, I still think that relationship between fathers and daughters is special. My father was a friend and a caregiver and today, I miss him the most.”