After watching this video, I’ve asked myself why not to try creating another blog to my dad.
Like any other father, Tatay was very protective…He may not have protected me from my personal heartaches but he always knew when to be there, what to say and when to listen to me. There was never a time that he nagged or criticized me for my personal choices and life decisions. Instead, he showed me respect. Tatay constantly assured me I can always come to him if matters got out of hand, that I always have a place to come home to whatever happens.
Whenever I hear about fathers physically and verbally abusing their children, I can’t help but be thankful that I had a Tatay who never lifted his hand to hurt me even if I was at fault or even scream at me when I’ve become unbearably stubborn. He knew he could talk sense to me instead of raising his voice and using his belt.He just smiled and gave me a bear hug. There was always gentleness in the way he dealt with me. He was always pleasant with me in the midst of his fury.
There is so much to miss about Tatay.
That laughter for one, so infectious I dare anyone who’s in a bad mood to sit beside him and get their fill of laughter from his overflowing database of personal jokes. I will miss his signature “Anak ka ng Jueteng oh!” when he gets upset or simply wants to vent out his frustration. I will miss hearing his deep manly voice, the many tight hugs, his smiling pair of eyes and the ever sincere line “Anak, kung may problema, nandito lang ang Tatay.”
I will really miss Tatay.
My father started to lose his memory a couple of years ago after he had his stroke for the nth time. He was lying there in bed, recovering from the hardships.
My mother and I were there watching him as he lay sleeping. He awoke with a start, and started mumbling incomprehensibly. Then like a sudden torrent he yelled. I was scared. That was the first time I ever heard this gentle man yell. He was yelling not in pain or anger… but in frustration. I remember him calling his own mother. His mother who I know he never really knew. We calmed him as he cried like a baby, scared at the thought of being led into a dark tunnel. I sat there dumbfounded while my mother calmed him. I had to walk out of the room for I cannot bear to see a man – my father – falling into desperation, fear and loss. I kept silent and slowly through the years, I witnessed my father slip into the abyss of loss.
Now, the doctor says he has the mental capacity of a fifteen year-old and it would eventfully slip further. In front of my eyes, I watched this man, who had nothing in his youth, only us – his family. He worked for us, to the bone. Trying to bring each night a piece of joy to light his children’s eyes. He tried to make something out of what little he had, went to other climes, to greener pastures and come back a failed attempt in the eyes of a son who promised never to be like him.
I was angry then because all I thought was, he was gone and I missed those little moments he gave us, like nothing else mattered except us his sons. But I guess, now I have the adult eyes and heart to see, that the anger was not because he left us. No, the anger was because we missed him.
As my father goes into the twilight of years, the biggest lesson he taught me, was not to do the same things he failed in, but rather, it is now upon me his son to pick up from where he had left. I now bear in me the promise of a son to continue what he has done. He loved us so much that he placed all his dreams behind him. I love my father and for him I bear a promise to live my dreams, to let it come alive. Not for me, but for him.
That’s my promise.