Tag Archives: father

I Needed a Hanky on a Rainy Day

umbrellaOn a rainy day like this, I remember my dad insisting he will walk with me to the main street, armed with a huge umbrella, to get¬† a ride to the office. All because he knows I hate carrying a wet umbrella during commute. Yes, he understands my weirdness. ūüôā

He will then put his arm on my shoulder and off we walk.

When my ride finally arrives, he’ll still have that umbrella on my head, then I’ll kiss him goodbye. And he’ll wait until the vehicle speeds away before he walks back home.

I remember this one passenger’s wistful look and I just smiled at her. I thought, how many fathers indeed do this to their grown-up kid? I guess we’re just lucky to have a father who’s sweet in his own way.

And today, I wished that umbrellas have the power to shield us not just from the rains but from heartaches and sadness brought forth by memories like this.

I terribly miss this man. To think that I told him he doesn’t have to do it because I have my umbrella anyway. But I’m just so thankful for those times that he insisted.

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Mindless Late Night Wanderings: Losing

I never felt what real sadness was like until I lost my father. It’s a sadness that comes from out of the blue and just walks in on you when you least expect it, like when you’re onboard a public transpo or when you’re watching Les Mis√©rables. Of all places! Really.

My usually makulit two-year old niece asked me where Lolo is and I said he's in heaven with Papa Jesus and off she went to Lola and said, "Lola, iwan mo din ako?" That broke the dam. Again.

My usually makulit two-year old niece asked me where’s Lolo and I said he’s in heaven with Papa Jesus and off she went to Lola and said, “Lola, iwan mo din ako?” That broke the dam. Again.

I didn’t know if I was crying for Jean Valjean or for what happened that tragic Saturday morning.¬†It started with a lump in my throat then progressed to difficulty in swallowing; then my eyes started to well and then the entire dam just broke. So¬†when everyone else have gathered themselves and I was still sniffing, I knew it wasn’t Jean Valjean.

The sadness of losing a parent is never the same as losing a boyfriend to another or someone who considered you their favorite person, yet just walked away without as much as a goodbye. The melancholia is not even close to realizing that someone deleted your number and so when you texted an entire novel and all you get is “who u”; ¬†or crushing over someone who makes you feel so giddy just seeing their name on your phone but doesn’t see your sheer awesomeness. It’s not even close to unrequited love.

It’s a sadness that just tears you apart. As you remember every gritty detail of that person who fed you when you were little; helped you through your toilet-training days; took you to school and fetched you; spanked you; carried you to your room as you feign sleeping on the couch; taught you songs; held your hand when you crossed the street… And a whole lot of memories that will forever be just that. Memories.

They say it gets easier with time. Maybe. I’m sure it will be. But now, it’s just painful; especially when everything’s quiet and everyone else is asleep. And then you have to be ok because you just can’t fall apart. There’s work, and then there’s still mom who needs us, no matter how strong she may seem. I can see beyond the strength.¬†

And so until we get used to this sadness and void in our lives, tomorrow and the next days may just as well be another show.

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Tatay

tatay

On December 17, 2011 we received our best Christmas gift yet; when  his angiogram showed his heart was well. That jumpstarted a good 2012 since my sister and her family will be home again by April. It was the last time we will all be together.

Starting July, he has been going in and out of the hospital and it was in September 2012 when the doctor at the Lung Center told us Tatay has stage IV lung cancer. Four months later, on January 5, 2013 at 10:25AM he left us; merely a week away from his 74th birthday.

That was after I fed him Milo using a medicine dropper. I left him so mother can feed him water. Just in time, my brother came in and so they turned him on his side so they can powder his back (to prevent bed sore). It was then that he made his last breath.

I rushed back to their room as soon as I heard them crying. I thought I readied myself for this day. But I think no matter how much one think she’s strong enough, one will never be ready. For the nameless pain that you will feel down your gut that it makes you tremble and just cry until you’re all dried up.

Seeing a tear in my father’s left eye, I cried again. I felt guilty leaving him. I felt I haven’t done enough. I felt I didn’t pray hard enough.¬†It’s a pain that I never know I can feel in this lifetime. Though we never deluded ourselves that he will be back in his old shape, there was hope that maybe he’ll stay with us longer. Or maybe I want him to stay for selfish reasons. Because I can’t bear losing a father. Not seeing him everyday or receiving a text from him asking what time I’ll be home is something difficult to get used to.

And it doesn’t help that every single thing we see in the house reminds us of him: his place in the dining table; the cds; how he cooks adobo and sinigang na tanguige;¬†and even in the leaky faucet because he’s just the all-around guy. Very few men these days know what my father knows around the house. He may not have finished school, but he sure is street smart.¬†Ibang klase.

tatayI will miss everything about this guy. His vanity with his hair and nails, his sarcasm, his humor and stories of his youth. We sorely miss him but we take consolation in the thought that wherever he is now, he can breathe without chasing his breath; he can walk with his usual gait; he is his healthy self again. So who am I to take that away from him? It hurts to let him go but letting him go may just as well be saying ” I love you”.

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We appreciate the huge turnout, especially last Sunday, as it meant people care that our father passed away. But we were so overwhelmed and underprepared (with just nibbles and drinks to offer) and for that, please accept our apologies for not tending to all of you well enough.

To relatives and friends who helped us during the three-day wake until my father’s cremation, THANK YOU will never be enough to tell you how much we appreciated what you have done for our family at this difficult time.

To those who– posted words of kindness on FB & Twitter; offered prayers, mass cards & ‘abuloy’; called me; cooked for us/brought us food without us asking it of them; came as soon as they knew; went straight from their shifts; live so far from Marikina or came from their vacation and went straight to Loyola; have never even met my father and yet went out of their way to see him–¬†I won’t mention names; you know who you are and¬†our family is just so grateful and overwhelmed. Maraming salamat.

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