Dance With My Father Again

June 22nd, 2008 § 5

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

Missing Dad, Eleven Months Now

February 27th, 2008 § 10

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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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.

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