Missing Dad on Fathers' Day

June 18th, 2007 § 32

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.

Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle

There’s two things I know for sure:
She was sent here from heaven
and she’s daddy’s little girl.
As I drop to my knees by her bed at night
She talks to Jesus and I close my eyes
and I thank God for all the joy in my life
Oh, but most of all
For butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer
sticking little white flowers all up in her hair
“Walk beside the pony, Daddy, it’s my first ride.”
“I know the cake looks funny, Daddy, but I sure tried.”
In all that I’ve done wrong I must have done something right
to deserve a hug every morning and butterfly kisses at night.

Sweet 16 today
She’s looking like her mama a little more everyday
One part woman, the other part girl
To perfume and make-up from ribbons and curls
Trying her wings out in a great big world
But I remember
Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer
sticking little white flowers all up in her hair
“You know how much I love you, Daddy,
But if you don’t mind
I’m only gonna kiss you on the cheek this time.”
With all that I’ve done wrong I must have done something right
to deserve her love every morning
and butterfly kisses at night.

All the precious time
Like the wind, the years go by
Precious butterfly
Spread your wings and fly.

She’ll change her name today
She’ll make a promise and I’ll give her away
Standing in the bride-room just staring at her
She asked me what I’m thinking and I said “I’m not sure
I just feel like I’m losing my baby girl.”
She leaned over… gave me butterfly kisses with her mama there
Sticking little white flowers all up in her hair
“Walk my down the aisle, Daddy-it’s just about time.”
“Does my wedding gown look pretty, Daddy? Daddy, don’t cry!”

Oh, with all that I’ve done wrong I must have done something right.
To deserve your love every morning and butterfly kisses
I couldn’t ask God for more, man this is what love is.

I know I gotta let her go, but I’ll always remember
every hug in the morning and butterfly kisses.

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