March 26th, 2009 §
I had goosebumps unearthing this old back-up folder I forgot I had on my webhost containing old pictures of my Dad. It’s been two years, and while most people say that it gets better as time goes by, I know in my heart that I still miss him everyday — it never ends, sometimes even more than the day before.
So I’ll make it simple this year.
Love your dads — hug them, kiss them, tell them you love them, make them proud — while you still can. :) ♥
February 5th, 2009 §
Mom, Kuya Nate, Kuya Niks, and Lola
..and Kuya Nate’s pretty wifey Ate Imy :)
(Oh wow I finally have an older sister!)
I guess stuff like this happens when you’re an XX-chromosomed 25 year old (yes, just females), and you come home to a messy apartment, plates and pans from the past two nights’ dinner piled up on the sink waiting to be washed, and a hamper filled to the brim with dirty laundry waiting by your bathroom door. Sounds stressful, I know right. But hey, at this age, I still have the right to blame this on the hormones, right?
I have a bunch of chores to do, not to mention reports to finish, and all I can think of right now is how much I miss going home to a place where there are actual human beings to talk to or to have dinner with. I miss bossing my brothers around (no, wait, I think it’s the other way), my Mum’s lutong-bahay, Lola’s stories which I’ve heard about a hundred times already, and maybe some bonding time with my new (ehem) sister-in-law.
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August 12th, 2008 §
Here’s a superdelayed thank you post, for Karlo Pineda, who, not only encapsulated my Dad’s memories into a beautiful poem, but took also the opportunity to have it published for all to see. :)
Sometime March of this year, Karlo’s very first draft was posted on my multiply account, a mere comment on that photo from that multiply album I put up during Daddy’s first death anniversary. Without really knowing my Dad, and just by looking at the photos I uploaded in multiply, Karlo wrote a poem I wish I had the gift to write myself. It was beautiful. And needless to say, it made me cry buckets of tears.
Last week, Karlo (with Camz in tow) made me cry again with this lovely surprise.
The July 2008 issue of Philippine Graphic
..with my Dad’s memory, printed on page 44 :)
It’s one thing to have read the poem from the comments section of my multiply account, another thing to have seen it splashed across the poetry section of a magazine — preserved in print forever.
What can I say? I’m honored to have received something intricately crafted by a brilliant poet. But even more so, honored to have a father who lived a life worthy to inspire someone to write something so beautiful. I will forever treasure this masterpiece. Thank you, Karlo.
P.S. You and Camz are still, and will always be, my most favorite couple. I’m counting on you guys. I need my regular dose of inspiration. Stay in love. ;)
After the jump: Karlo’s poem, From the Sky to the Kite, in memory of my Dad.
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June 22nd, 2008 §
Someone in Pinoy Dream Academy sang this song last night, and while I wasn’t really paying attention who the singer was, I was simply drawn to the message of the song.
If I could get another chance
Another walk, another dance with him
I’d play a song that would never, ever end
How I’d love, love, love to dance with my father again
Googling the few lines I remembered, I found out that the song was “Dance with My Father Again” by a certain Tamyra Gray. Clicked Limewire. Searched. Downloaded. In a few minutes I had the song looped in iTunes.
It probably goes without saying that there was a lot of tears involved while this was happening. Being alone in the condo/apartment which I just recently moved in to (will blog more about this in a bit), it was easier to just cry that time (than hold back), get it over and done with, and be ready to smile again for when my Mom and kuya picked me up.
Father’s Day has passed again. I didn’t anticipate that I would be sentimental about it, but just like last year, there was this inevitable longing to have someone to hug and say, “Happy Father’s Day, Daddy, I love you” to. The traditional Father’s Day tribute at church had once again made me hide my swollen eyes under my sunglasses.
There’s not a day that I don’t miss Daddy, and there are moments, such as celebrating Father’s Day, and hearing songs such as “Dance with my Father Again”, when the pain of (physically) losing him just tugs deep into my heart again. And I’m little by little learning to accept that this is how it’s going to be the rest of my life.
(Following Liz’s lead, however late.) Here’s for you, Dad. :)
Also, my one wish, encapsulated in the few lines of this song: “If I could steal one final glance, One final step, one final dance with him, I’d play a song that would never, ever end, How I’d love, love, love to dance with my father again..”
Dance with my Father Again sung by Tamyra Gray | CLICK HERE
May 31st, 2008 §
There’s nothing magical about turning 25. At least I’ve proven that myself now. There was no thunder and lightning, no additional white hairs (at least none that I noticed of), no booming voice from above sending specific life instructions your way. Mostly, everything’s just a continuation of the day before, just like any other year. Some say that things are bound to change from here on — but I guess that’s a pretty generic thing to say, after all, everything’s bound to change anyway.
But one of the cool things about being 25 is perhaps, the illusion that you really are a grown-up now. (No, I’m not sure I was ever regarded as a “grown-up” when I was 24. Hah!)
“We’re grown-ups now, and it’s our turn to decide what that means.” Yeah! :P
Yep, no one would dare tell you you’re “too young” for something when you’re 25. (Except maybe too young to die? Hmm.) But well, 25 years is a lot of years, I know right. I was thinking of blogging about 25 things I learned on my 25th year, or 25 places I want to go to this year, or 25 items in my shopping list, or 25 gifts I received.. but gaah, 25 is just too many now for this lazy blogger that I am. Sorry naman.
So let me just make kwento about how I spent my 25th birthday. :)
Ironically, while it was my official grand entrance to the world of quarter-life, I ended up celebrating a pink day in the office (which kind of reminds me of Disney princess, lol), and a Mcdonald’s kiddie party with my most favorite kids in the world. Not too grown-up, eh? :)
The first one was a surprise — my team came to work in pink, and because I was overwhelmed by the pinkness that they were, we had boxes of pizza delivered in the afternoon. Thanks guys, I’ve never seen that much pink in my life it’s.. sickening. :))
USAP’s SEO-Internet Marketing Department in Pink
The second one was rather impulsive — (accidentally) passing by Mcdonalds two days before my birthday, I decided to book a kiddie party right there and then. I’ve always wanted one but I didn’t really plan on having it this year. But now I realize that it was definitely the best time to do it. I would have invited my friends too, but I thought it would be more meaningful to share it with kids, specifically those who have not experienced being in one before. So I invited them:
Here are the boys from SBC’s Street Children Ministry
My Dad loved these kids. Some of them are homeless, some have families in the urban poor areas in Manila, some don’t even know who their parents are. The smile on their faces is undoubtedly the best gift I’ve ever received. :)
My bible study group was there too, full support yay :)
..and of course teh whole family. Still missing Daddy, but we know he’s always with us. :)
So yep, that was my 25th birthday. Couldn’t have spent it any other way. I guess if there’s one thing I learned that day, it would be acknowledging that one can’t really live alone and independent from anyone — and still be genuinely happy. Life is simply not worth living if you don’t have people to share it with.
I’ve experienced independence (to some extent), and sometimes I enjoy being in solitude too. But to go through this journey without family and friends backing you up, or without someone holding your hand and giving you everything-is-going-to-be-alright hugs when you need them, or without a God who’s in control of even the littlest details in your life.. ugh, living is simply impossible. Thank God He allowed me to have all these. Thank God that I didn’t have to go through the past 25 years, and that I won’t have to go through the next 25 years, by myself.
Happy Birthday to me. :)
Segue: Interested to have a Mcdonald’s kiddie party in the Philippines? Details after the jump. ;)
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March 11th, 2008 §
One of the things my Mom “assigned” me to do following Daddy’s death was to write a short letter of thanks in behalf of our family to everyone who was/is there with us throughout this whole ordeal. Mom would always tell me that I’m the writer in the family, that I’m the best person to do it, or sometimes, in her desperate attempts to make me move, she would make bola and tell me that Daddy would have wanted me to do it more than anyone in the world. It has been my greatest challenge since.
It’s gonna be Dad’s first death anniversary on the 26th, and I still haven’t come up with anything. Mom has been so patient with me, even though I know that she’s starting to get frustrated about not being able to at least give a thank you card to everyone after all these months.
It’s just that.. everytime I try to sit down to work on it, I always end up staring at a blank sheet of paper, or a blank text file, and a few minutes later, I’d start tearing up again. I’ve ran out of excuses to explain to Mom why I still haven’t come up with what she’s asking for. I know I could easily just string together words of appreciation, layout them together with a photo of my Dad, print, and send. But it’s difficult, because no amount of words is enough to thank everyone who was part of my Dad’s life and ministry. *Sigh* I’m not just being lazy. I’ve been stalling, I know right, but only because the mere thought of working on THAT letter relieves the pain of our loss, and it’s as if I have to accept over again that Dad’s already gone.
I’m turning 25 in a few months, but I still haven’t stopped feeling like still being too young to lose a father. I guess I’ll never stop feeling like that. Dad’s early death may have forced me to grow up, but deep inside I will always be that little girl who’d give anything to twirl around her Daddy in circles again. Ugh, it’s just too frustrating sometimes. I mean, why do other twentyfiveyearolds get to share their lives with their Dads and I don’t? *More sighs* Okai, I stop whining now.
So yeah, March 26 is just around the corner, and I’m starting to have more and more thoughts about Daddy again. And I have no more excuse to set aside writing that thank you letter now. I owe it to my Mom. I know how important that is to her.
But mostly, I owe it to Daddy. Since he didn’t get to have that last chance to thank all those people who were part of his life, I want to do it for him with all my heart.
February 27th, 2008 §
Among the gazillions of memories that my Dad left us with, these two photos are probably the ones that will forever be etched in my head: the black-and-white photo from the last sermon he gave in church, and the color-ed one (with that eternal smile) from a medical-dental mission from way back.
For the past eleven months since Daddy’s death, I’ve gotten so used to seeing these two pictures around — on my Mom’s office wall, in our living room, on a mural in church — that I’d sometimes find myself automatically saying “Hi Daddy, how are you?” everytime I pass through them.
Then again, there are times, such as last Sunday (or NOW), when staring at his pictures would make me cry uncontrollably again. There are just no words to describe how much I miss Daddy. Sometimes it would feel as if the pain of his death is being relieved in my heart over again like it just happened.
I didn’t realize until earlier today that it’s been almost a year already since Dad left to be with the Lord. A lot of things has happened ever since, and there was not a time when I didn’t wonder how different things would have been if he was still around. How I would have made better decisions if I got to have a piece of his wisdom, or how it would have been happier to celebrate special days and victories with him, or how trials would have been easier to bear if I could talk to him, get a piece of his mind, or probably laugh my sorrows away with him.
I guess these are some of the things I will always remember about Daddy. He always had a way of staying calm even though he’s got a gunk of problems to think about. He had this ability to trust God wholly in spite of all the discouragements that this world is made of; and to smile even through trying times.
Smile though your heart is aching, Daddy would often sing — while taking a bath, or while driving, or once when I was so brokenhearted from breaking up with my first boyfriend. I guess he knew that these lines would never fail to bring the smile back on my face. Coincidentally, Daddy also sang portions of this song during his last sermon in church, unaware that it was going to be one of the last memories he’d be leaving us with forever.
The song’s been playing over and over in my head the past few days. It also happened to play on the stereo while Mom and I were in the car the other day, and as tears started falling down my cheeks, Mom sent reassuring smiles my way as if to say that it’s okay to cry.
The irony of this song is, the manner by which it tells you to NOT cry makes you cry EVEN MORE. Pfft.
But I needed it then. And I sure do need it now. Even though it’s making me CRY MORE than SMILE, I’m okay, because there’s something so refreshing about being able to cry things out, while holding on to the simple truth that in this cruel world, God will always give you reasons to smile. And what do you know, hearing Daddy’s faint voice from a distance as if he’s singing the song to me makes the thought even sweeter. His memories shall always live by.
So hey, I’m gona grab some Kleenex now and cry some more. :) Meanwhile, here’s the song — click to play — just in case you need to hear it too. (Lyrics after the jump.)
Smile, whats the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile
Smile by Nat King Cole | CLICK
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November 16th, 2007 Comments Off
My Dad would have turned 58 last November 9. I refrained from blogging or writing anything that day because I didn’t want to be too emotional. Besides, my family and I had a fun time together celebrating his birthday over dinner, I didn’t want to ruin it by being the crybaby that I am. :)
Then again, I guess there’s really no way I could avoid missing him and wiping tears off my eyes once in a while. No way I could stop thinking of a lifetime ahead of me without him to share it with.
*Sigh* It’s been almost 8 months. Sometimes it still feels like a dream.
But don’t get me wrong. I’m happy. We‘re happy. Happy that he’s not battling anymore with cardiomyopathy. Happy knowing that he’s not experiencing any more pain. Happy knowing that he’s happy where he is now.
November 3rd, 2007 §
It just so happened that I was watching Grey’s Anatomy Season 4‘s 5th episode Haunt You Everyday, on the day the whole country’s celebrating All Soul’s Day — the first one where I actually have a Dad (who passed away) to remember.
I’m loving George O’Malley’s character in Season 4. Anyway, this is, if not the most, one of the most moving speech in the episode for me.
I dont have kids, so i dont know how its like to lose a child but i do know how its like to lose a parent. Your daughter loved you, i saw her this morning, she was fighting for you. She’s fighting for your life. You’re her dad. You’re her dad, she won’t leave you, I know that. I also know that she would want you to have her heart. I would have given my dad my heart if i could. If I could have saved him, I would have given him my heart. ~ George
I felt what George said. I would have given mine to my Dad too, if I had the chance. But okay, let’s save the drama for a later post.
That is, if I get the courage to write one. Sigh.
June 18th, 2007 §
I dreaded Fathers’ Day to come. I was scared to find out how I was going to feel being father-less in an occasion such as this for the first time. So let me tell you how my celebration of Fathers Day went.
In church, I’ve always been the designated person to do audio-visual presentations, so by default, I was tasked to make one for Fathers’ Day (which was shown in church yesterday). I hesitated at first, jokingly said “why would I? I don’t have a Dad!“, but decided to do it because I know that that’s what Daddy would have wanted me to do. Besides, SBC dads have always been like second fathers to me. It was a privilege doing something to honor them.
For obvious reasons, I cried doing the AVP Saturday night. And while it was being shown during the worship service, I cried watching it even though I’ve seen it over a dozen times already. I cried thinking about Dad, and how incomplete the occasion was without him. I cried thinking about how different things would have been if he was still around — he would have given me a big hug after the AVP was shown, told me something like, “Gawa mo ba yun, nak? Ang galing talaga ng anak ko! Kanino ka ba nagmana?” (even though the AVP was nothing spectacular). I cried seeing some of his pictures being flashed on the screen, and having people come up to me to tell me how great a person and a father Daddy was. I cried while Pastor Lito was praying for them fathers, thinking that it would have been Daddy doing that special fathers’ day prayer. I cried playing the keyboard up front, and seeing the monobloc chair where Daddy always sat, empty since he died, as if no one wants to occupy it because of an unspoken agreement that the seat was supposedly Dad’s.
As the worship service came to a close, I hugged my Mom and my brother, and while we jokingly greeted each other, “Happy Father-less Day to us”, we know, and we need not say it, that we have a lot of reasons to celebrate Fathers’ Day. Specifically this reason: God has blessed us with a great Daddy, and even though he’s now gone, we still have The Great Father in heaven, the same one who’s keeping the whole universe together, who holds our lives in His hands. For us, that’s more than enough.
As I said, I’ve learned that crying does not change the situation, but simply a release so that one has more room to fill with strength to cope, and to move on — at least that’s how it has worked for me. Come to think of it, no occasion will ever be the same again. There will always be that empty seat in Christmasses, and birthdays, and anniversaries, to come. As Miss Noemi always puts it, I’m entering my “new normal”. This is how it’s always gonna be from now on, and I need not be sad about it. We will always miss Dad, but there will always be that unexplainable joy that comes with knowing that even though he’s not here with us anymore, his memory lives on whatever happens and wherever we go.
I told my Dad I want this song, Butterfly Kisses, played on my wedding day (fine, if there’d be any, that is). We even practiced dancing to this one already, one Saturday afternoon in his church office, only we ended up banging our heads ala Beatles’ style, dancing variations of cha-cha (my Dad sucks at dancing hehe), and laughing throughout the music. *sigh* I miss him.
But at least I can always play this song and be remembered of that afternoon. :) And at least I can always close my eyes, think of that dream wedding, and picture Daddy there, dancing with me for the last time before he gives me away.
Happy Fathers’ Day, Daddy. I am who I am now because of how you and Mom raised us up and how you lived your lives. I love you and I thank God for you.
And to all the fathers out there, Happy Fathers Day! And to all the daughters, and Daddy’s little girls out there, this song, that my Dad and I would have danced together with on my wedding night, is for you. Listen away. :)
Audio: Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle. Lyrics after the jump.
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