I dedicate this newsletter to my father, Tomislav Tomčik, who died June 15th this year. I would often say I was a great mixture of qualities and talents from both my parents, that I have this creative, artsy and pedagogic side from my mother, and this practical, organizational, economic side from my father. Those two sides support, balance and inspire each other. Dad was the one who supported me financially towards my 5Rhythms education at the time when I couldn’t take a loan or pay myself all of the costs of the education that included all the prerequisite workshops that were mostly all taking place in the USA. And at that time 5Rhythms didn’t even exist in Croatia! A few years ago my dad told me: “You know, Silvija, I didn’t believe then in those 5Rhythms and that it could become your job and a succesful carrier, I did it because I believed in you as a person.” My dad even showed up to one of my first classes, and participated, I mean he danced, and I never saw him dance before! He would attend promotions of Gabrielle Roth’s books where I would give a speach (he would fall asleep for moments, as he did when he attended concerts of my mother’s students). He would lend his car to people who drove me to teach in another city. This sort of support is definitely one of the reasons I am where I am now and that I can support others on their path.
My father is the one who brought me to Sutivan, with which he fell in love 40 years ago, and where we are now so happy to be dancing our “Move’n’Rest” workshop. He would be a special guest at the workshop’s party, and people loved talking to him. There is a lovely anecdote where he once stepped onto a bus that was organized to take participants to the party, and some people gently tried to tell him he took the wrong bus, thinking he was a lost tourist.
As a child I was afraid of my father so I developed a relationship with him over letters. Firstly they were hand writen messages I left him, then I started using his typewriter, then when I started traveling I would send them by post (he saved some of them), and finally they turned into e-mails. I am aware that this made it harder for me to have an intimate conversations one to one, but I developed this ability to intimately communicate through writing. Like I am doing in these newsletters.
Following is the eulogy I wrote for his memorial.
You were generous. I remember how skilled and deft you were when buying gifts for your 3 girls at home on your travels, even clothes, all the while not being able to distingush the colours so well. You are the one who gave me the gift of life.
You used to tell me that even though you traveled often and everywhere, I definitely managed to do more so. You are the one who opened the door to the world for me.
You were a father who didn’t shy away from buying sanitary pads or going to gynecologist with me. You were right there beside me, even if silently.
I remember how when I was a little girl the employees from our neighborhood grocery store asked me what did you do or what was your job, and I simply told them – a president. At that time you were a president of the building council. Wearing a fine suit, briefase in hand, hat on the head, a cigar in your mouth. You are the one who taught me that I can do what I love or love what I do.
You loved French cheese and wine, Italian music and architecture, English elegance and humour. You loved enjoing life, you loved good company. You were especially happy in Sutivan, so we’ll spread a bit of your ashes there.
Mum often invited her artistic friends to our home, and I was always surprised how they ended up talking to you. For, to me, you sometimes really seemed as a boring guy. A boring guy with a great sense of humour.
You were a positive guy, always cutting out and saving inspirational messages like these last few I found at your place:
“I know that I don’t know”
“The only person who is always with you is yourself”
“So far so good”
Because of that it was hard for me to see when you lost all hope for some new tomorrow, for a better tomorrow.
Your time to rest has come. I love you, dad.