Today is the third death anniversary of my dad. I miss my dad terribly. My dad outlived two of my brothers, my mom and his grandchild, Luijoe. It’s a grand slam. He was a bereaved spouse, a bereaved father and bereaved grandfather. Now who could beat that? During the funeral of my brother, Oscar in April 1999, my dad collapsed right after the burial. Dad never got to walk again till his death in December 5, 2003. I didn’t tell dad that Luijoe died because my dad was already sick in the year 2000. Another loss would surely devastate him. We were afraid dad would join him in death if he ever found out, knowing how he doted on all his grandchildren. We couldn’t risk telling him because we were not ready to see dad go yet. Four years later, dad died of complications from diabetes and hypertension. Often, I question God why my father who was a good man, a loving father, a generous provider had to suffer for 4 years. All these deaths in my family made me wonder if our family was cursed or something. Should I dare say that I am blessed that God took my family members? That my dad, mom , two brothers and son ‘s mission on earth is done?
I know my father was not perfect but I adored him. When I was in college, dad often travelled to Manila to visit us at our dorms. He was never too busy to set aside family time for us. As a young widower, he often brought his girlfriend when we had dinner. We encouraged dad to re-marry but he never did. He didn’t want to cause a family rift. I thought husbands were made like my dad. I was so wrong. A lot of my marital problems was because I compared my husband and dad. Hehe, I think my husband also compared me to his sweet mom. Too bad, he married a bitch.
Christmas is fast approaching and I remember how dad made it so much fun for us. I will always associate Christmas with my dad. He literally spoiled us to death. The best gift dad ever gave us was the gift of laughter. Dad’s booming laughter often rings in my ear even in times of adversity. It is the same gift that I continue to give to my children when the going gets rough.
In honor of my dad, I now sign as Noemi Lardizabal-Dado because much of who I am is because of my dad. My dad lives on in me and in my work. I can just imagine my dad smiling at me as I do service to others.
(Photo above is my dad during a Christmas presentation where he dances to the music “Macho Man”)