so long, dad

Daddy died 17 days ago. It has been two long weeks for us but it’s a mutual decision to make it so because obviously, it’s going to be our last time with him. 

I managed to get all my thoughts, as they rushed through me, conveniently written down in my diary. I can’t claim to be completely okay but after saying my prayers, “talking” to Daddy before he’s laid to rest, after re-reading my diary entries, I think many of my personal issues were sorted and compartmentalized. I’m doing fine. I guess most of us are. 

Daddy, of course, is not perfect. He’s not the easiest person to deal with. However, I know that he loved all of us in different ways he thought possible. With everything that was said and done, I can tell anyone right this moment that this is still the life I would choose if I’m given a chance to live again. Seriously. This isn’t the “ideal” set-up but everything that I am now, I owe to the life Daddy gave me.

I got the call from a niece just as I was having my reading time. I guess it’s true for anyone who receives a news of death of an immediate family— everything blurs and you just want to hear it again, hoping somehow that you heard it wrong the first time. Anyway, it’s been a roller coaster of emotions, from breaking the news to my other siblings, to seeing him at the morgue, to talking to him in my mind as I looked at him in the casket whenever I get the chance, to all the rush of tears during the interment mass, and to finally telling him to rest in peace as the casket was finally closed.

My sister kept on saying that it’s all water under the bridge, whenever we both recover from “losing it”  for a while with thoughts of our respective if onlys.  It’s true. It’s not easy to accept but God called Daddy on that fateful night, and he is better off with Him.  Maybe what made it harder to accept was the fact that he’s not sick as in sick— yes, he complained about “normal” pains brought by old age, but he was stronger than most of his younger siblings, cousins and friends. Either that, or he’s feeling something but ignored it, as his tolerance for pain (and stubbornness, perhaps?) was quite high (something I inherited!). Oh well, it’s all done and I know he’s in a better place, and he’s conveniently watching us as we go on with our lives.

What has been eating me especially on the first few nights was my guilt of not spending more time with him. No excuse would ever be sufficient so I won’t even try giving one. That’s why I kept on saying sorry to him. I really cried after meeting people I don’t even know, or seeing relatives I haven’t seen for so long, when they all immediately recognized me because Daddy has always bragged about me. He was not keen on making you feel he’s proud of you when you’re around. That’s why the effect of all the people telling me, “Palagi kang ipinagmamalaki sa amin ng Daddy mo. Yung picture mo sa wallet nya lagi nyang pinapakita sa amin.”  was so much. There I was, complaining about the supposed sorry state in my professional life, yet there he was, proudly telling people about his visa assistant daughter as if she’s the ambassador. More than sorry, I never got the chance to say “Thank you” when he’s still with us. Sure, I gave him stuff and made him feel, in my own little way, that this is what and where I am now. Sadly, I only had about two years, and worse, only a few real moments in those two years, to make him feel that. 

In between tears, I told him that I will try everything I can to live up to the things that he told people about me— he believed in me, and saw something that I’ve been ignoring the whole time, because probably, I was too stupid wanting more than what I have. I am going to continue loving my siblings, and everyone special to him. I think all of us will do that.

On a lighter matter, I jokingly told him that I won’t be able to introduce his future son-in-law (whoever he will be). He won’t be able to give him a hard time, as a typical father-protective-of-his-youngest-child would. I always imagined scenes of him walking me down the aisle, him holding my first born, and teaching my future children his (super) corny tricks and expressions. With what happened, I guess he’ll just watch over me from up there. 

I already told him what my heart feels. For now, I just want him to enjoy his new journey. It’s been a wonderful life he had here on Earth. Anecdotes of him, positive or otherwise, will live with us and they would all be wonderful memories that we will keep on going back to whenever we think of him.

So long, Daddy. I love you very much. ♥

14 thoughts on “so long, dad

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  3. i’m sorry to hear about what happened. even though your dad’s not with you physically, he’s watching over you and i bet he’s proud of every little thing that you do.

  4. Hi Judith,

    So sorry to hear about your loss. It’s the circle of life and he lives through you and your siblings. Just think he’s in a better place now.

    I’m glad I had the privilege of meeting him.

    I’m sure he was very proud of you.

    Chelli

  5. hi dith…

    naiyak ako…promise…. lalo na sa part na ‘to…

    “That’s why the effect of all the people telling me, “Palagi kang ipinagmamalaki sa amin ng Daddy mo. Yung picture mo sa wallet nya lagi nyang pinapakita sa amin.” was so much. There I was, complaining about the supposed sorry state in my professional life, yet there he was, proudly telling people about his visa assistant daughter as if she’s the ambassador. ”

    bigla ko na-miss yung dad ko din….. when my dad comes back… i’ll do my best to be with him always… and i will tellhim how much i love him too….
    thanks to your blog….

    basta tandaan mo… one of the trials lng yan sa buhay mo… ETUCAP will always be here for you… luv u

  6. love you dette!! this made me really cry. you’re right. “He was not keen on making you feel he’s proud of you when you’re around”… he DID brag about you… A LOT. especially here. Nanay Remy had once said that apparently, back in the old days, he didn’t pay much attention to the “daughters” since he thought the “sons” were better. I guess it comes from the old idea that men are better. But as he grew older, Nanay had noticed that he was most proud of his daughters (you and mom.) When I was there, and people were talking about how he spoke of me often, I didn’t think he did. I didn’t know he even talked about me, my so called job with a HUGE salary (ha! yeah right!), about me and you-know-who, and all that stuff. So when people came up to me asking about those things, I was like, “Oh, he IS proud of me.” I felt the same way. He never talked like that when I was around.

    And the whole walking you down the aisle, holding your first born… *cries* I actually had this whole idea that I wanted him to see his first (first nga ba?) apo-sa-tuhod from his favorite apo (ngek!)

    Anyway, I just wanted to say I love you and together, we can get through this. I will see you in — *counts* — 22 days. Much love, Lai Lai

  7. @ Ms. C – Thank you for the encouragement to write. I remembered it was one of the first things you told me to do after I shared the fateful news. You inspired me to write down all my feelings. It really helped.

    @ Apple and Kryzzy – Thank you very much, guys.

    @ Francis – Salamat sa pag-share nung experience mo. May mga bagay tlaga na sa umpisa ang hirap tanggapin pero as we go on with our lives, unti-unti nating nakikita yung dahilan kung bakit yun nangyari. Basta alam naman ng mga Daddy natin na mahal natin sila. At tutulungan kitang magdasal para sa langga mo. Be strong always. With the power of prayers, magiging mabuti ang lahat. Salamat sa pag drop by.

    @ Ate Cath – Thanks, dear sis. Muntik pa ako maiyak nung mabasa ko na, oo nga, malamang Daddy is in his usual self doon, mingling with the angels and his new friends. True, whenever he watches me go on with my routine, gusto ko makita nya na I’m doing okay. At least he will know that he’s been right about me all along. 🙂 I miss you, Ate.

  8. Judie dear,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You will get through the pain but always remember that he never left you. You may not see him again but his thoughts, his memories, and you (being a part of him) will always remain. You made him proud… that may not be enough for you because you feel that you could have done more but they were enough for him. You made him happy and I believe that even in Heaven he kept his wallet with him and he’s bragging about you to the angels and his new found friends there. Be happy and live your life to the fullest, my dear. That’s what I believe he wants you to do.

    I’m here for you anytime, kahit sa e-mail lang. Take care of yourself. Love you!

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  10. Nalulungkot ako with what you have written down, kasi ganyan din naging situation ko…when my father died. I was with him while he was struggling to be alive…and even when he finally let go. It was the hardest moment for me. All I could remember is that I cried in front of him, hindi ko man lang nasabi na mahal ko father ko that moment. Hindi ko nasabi coz di ko matanggap that he’s going to let go, at kasi I thought that time na di mangyayari yun, that he’s going to be alright.

    After several years, I’ve learned to accept what had happened. I know lam ng father ko na mahal ko siya, kahit di ko nasabi sa kanya dat time, despite sa mga pagkukulang ko lam ko mahal din niya ako – he’s eldest son.

    Hirap talaga when situations like that would come our way. Plano ko pa nga before that he’s going to witness the event of me getting married. Ipapakilala ko sana sa kanya ang future daughter-in-law niya. But di nangyari.

    And now, another similar situation has come my way. the future daughter-in-law na gusto kong ipakilala sa kanya, is struggling with her life. His future daughter-in-law has leukemia. I just couldn’t understand why…? Uulit na naman ba?

    When my father died, life has taught me to become stronger. I know, despite the loss, he will always remain as my father – wherever he may be. Memories of him especially when I was a child, I will always cherish.

    But time is going to repeat itself. This time, my father’s future daughter-in-law. I don’t know what will happen if she quits. She has always been a fighter, strong, and a gem. But life is just so unpredictable, so I’m always worried and sad with what she is experiencing.

    I don’t wanna lose you, langga ko. I’m holding on to what we have promised with each other – growing old with each other. There may be times that I would freak out, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t love you. It just tells that hindi ko kaya ang mawala ka sa buhay ko, that sometimes maisipan kong “mas mabuti na lang ang mauna ako.” I’m holding on, it just that sometimes the situation is so unbearable.

  11. hi ate…

    naku, patawarin mo talaga kami sa pag-intrude nung dec.09… ang gulo namin eh. hehehe! pero kidding aside, i know how it feels to lose someone whom you love most. i grew up with my lola and it’s just painful to let her go kasi it’s so sudden.

    i know it’s different kasi it’s your dad and i really can’t imagine losing any of my parents. baka sumunod ako pag nagkataon..

    but at least you trying to move na di ba? your dad won’t allow you to be d
    sad forever.

    i hope to see you again but under good circumstances na.

    take care ate! muahs! 🙂

  12. Judith,

    Sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. Life is a journey. And just be thankful that he is with him now and their will be a time for us to be with them too.

    Enjoy life.

    Apple

  13. Oh Judie. I’m glad you are writing all this down. Continue doing so. Writing down yourthoughts and feelings as they come will make the healing journey better. God bless. We’re just here for you 🙂

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