The poignant thoughts of Pia’s entry about her seatmate, Senator Juan Flavier (who has now graduated from the senate) brought back memories of my own dad. Like Pia, I have a soft spot for senior citizens about the same age as my dad would have been today. Whenever I garner an achievement, I often think “dad would have been proud of me”, sometimes wishing I can catch my dad’s beaming smile with a nod of approval.
I am turning 50 years old this week and somehow I am thinking of the day my dad turned 50. My sister and I walked towards the UP shopping center so we could send a special card telegram to dad. Our greeting was:
Happy half a century old, dad!
I thought 50 was such an old age.
Five years later, dad suffered a massive stroke that made him suffer aphasia. He was unable to comprehend oral words but understood written words. Pregnant with Lauren, I traveled all the way to Cebu thinking he’d die any minute. I am grateful that God gave me 18 more years with him. I learned so much from his pain. Those were the difficult years for my dad because he had to live a new life with his speech impairment. Not anymore the prominent businessman, he adjusted to having fewer but loyal friends and a simple way of life.
When I think of how hard my life is, I think of my dad’s pain. I think about the setbacks he had to take in life. I think about his orphan status, the loss of both his parents when he was just a young boy. I think about how he had to work his way through college. I think about his grief when he lost his wife, my mom at the age of 45 years old. I think about the humiliation of losing his speech. The loss of his job. The loss of his “friends”. I think about how he lost his 2 sons before him. I think of his suffering as he laid in bed for 4 years.
I thank my daddy for teaching me about resiliency, the ability to go on with life inspite of the adversities. I thank him for teaching me gratitude as he showed me how to turn positive energy into my life. I thank him for the legacy he will pass on to my kids and their kids.
I just wish I can still talk to him once again. This week I will pay extra attention to all the daddies in the world because I will catch a little of my dad in them.
While I miss dad terribly, I know he is still with me. I will always love you Daddy old boy, and my love will always keep you alive in my heart.
Hug your daddy for me please.