My father passed away two years ago, a week after his birthday, which is today. I miss him dearly, and I often think of him. Many people who knew him used to tell me when I was younger that I was just like him.
I was the closest to him and yet our relationship was strained. As I used to say to my half-sister who nursed a lot of hurt in her heart for my Dad and her Mom’s shortcomings as far as she was concerned, Dad loved her — it’s just that he didn’t know how to show it the way we would have wanted him to show it.
I was the favorite — when everyone else refused to speak with him, they made me face him and negotiate with him. When he was dying, they called me from his deathbed and I told him between sobs that I was not mad at him, that I loved him. His death was expected but it hurt me deeply when I got the news.
There is so much that I want to say to him now and I know he would listen silently, furrow his brows, and if I unloaded my burden to him, I know he would just keep silent and listen. He would understand.
I would normally have wished that I was there to take care of him, but his final days were full of strife and pain. I guess in a selfish way, it was good that we were oceans apart. Less angry words were said although there were angry words exchanged.
I’m just glad he’s at peace now. I know that wherever he is, he isn’t having difficulty breathing — he isn’t in pain. Knowing that makes it easier to accept that he is gone. And whatever sins he had committed, he has been forgiven.
I miss hearing his voice — and hearing his laughter. I have many snapshots of him in my mind I keep going back to. And even in my grief, he makes me smile when I remember his antics and his jokes and the happy times. I dwell on the happy rather than the sad. There is enough sadness knowing he is no longer here with me. At least when I stick with the happy memories, my heart smiles, and it helps me deal with the grief better.
Happy birthday, Dadang. I know you know we all love you deeply… and we always will. I know now that my fears as a child that I would end up in heaven and you would be in the other place are unfounded. I know you will be there to meet me when my turn comes to go into the light.