Day 044 – 2018.13.02

Walking through Dad’s papers – record of his life in two pages and scribbles of a lonely man

I finally gave time to sort through my dad’s documents which was sent by my uncle from the States.

There’s plenty of them: credit card bills, employment documents, tax returns, etc.

While I search for documents that might hint at where his accounts are (so we can track his money and pay our debts), I can’t help but feel heavy going through his files.

Those kinds of papers were things other people didn’t pay attention to. They didn’t need to because it’s personal and confidential. However, I couldn’t help, but trace through my dad’s life in the states going through job to job; from an illegal alien to a greencard holder. If I ever felt lonely while applying for a job because I had no moral support while doing so, what more for my father who was far away from home? He had to survive in a foreign land. He was such a brave man.

But what broke me was the two-page piece of paper with his scribbles of when he was still alive, jotting down his body’s condition, watching out for a seizure. I did the exact same thing when I was at the hospital when he was sick, always on the verge of a breakdown, but needing to be awake and strong for the both of us.

It was my dad recording pieces of his life alone, sick, and needing to be strong for himself.

And we couldn’t be there for him.

Now I can only cry and imagine what I missed. I feel like I’ve never really knew my dad, nor really cared much about his life there. I’m always busy making fighting my own demons to stay afloat, to stay smiling, so I kept deaf and blind to his typical whims which were apparently pleads of a lonely man.

Whenever I see a picture of my dad, I always wonder how much he had to endure, how sad it must have been these past four years of being without a wife that loves him, and three children who couldn’t do shit to make him feel that his life was worth something.

I wonder what my dad felt on the last moments of his life, if he ever had the strength to record it, what could he have stated there. I wonder if he passed away with regrets or he was ready to say goodbye, or if he was sad or angry at us.

I’m sorry if I failed you, Daddy. I’m so so sorry.

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Day 023 – 2018.23.01

Sometimes, the most beautiful smile can shatter one’s heart into pieces. Just like mine.

For a while, I’ve been wondering why my eyes had been so dry with the whole ordeal of my dad’s passing. I think I’m keeping everything inside, or I still feel weird that I’m still fine.

Like, losing a family member is suppose to make your life crumble, but it’s not always like that. We move on, it’s true. But I think we’ll always long for those we lost.

Personally, I’m always going to mull on my what ifs with Dad.

Sometimes, my dad is more of the person I always am in conflict with, someone I don’t understand, someone I long to understand. His image as a father is different from his image with his friends whom so many love and adore because of his jokes and charm. He’s not the grumpy, misunderstood man I make him out to be in my head, or it’s just that we all put a different side of ourselves out there.

When I saw these pictures of him,

I just…bawled.

I couldn’t stop crying. Alas I remember that my dad had showed that side of him to me so many times and I think I was never that welcoming of it. These were his smiles even when he was sick, trying to survive the night with the thought of the possibility of death just around the corner and at the same time not having the heart to make us worry that much.

I never realized my dad was so handsome until these pictures. And I think it was beyond the physical that I finally accepted his claim of being a handsome man, but it’s because through those smiles–from those selfies he sent over messenger–he was sending us a message that had always been universal in his life as our father: I’m okay. Don’t worry about me. Always be happy. I love you very much.

Day 018 – 2018.18.01

I did cry.

It’s so weird to pick up my dad around the airport and not have him wait for us with his many bags and boxes he worked so hard to fill for everyone’s satisfaction. He would usually beam up despite the exhaustion of a long flight, hug us very tight because he missed us so very very much. And he was happy at the moment, especially because he was so so lonely there.

Instead, it was painful for us to pick him up inside a big box with him lying inside a casket. He worked hard his whole life, but he never wanted to end up inside those big boxes like that.

Nonetheless, as we always say: Welcome home, Daddy.

Day 013 – 2018.13.01

What a fun time with co-teachers today!

Went to Sinagtala Farm and Resort in Bataan for our school building. Our supervisor said it was actually my moody boss’ idea, and it’s nothing short of odd and amazing at the same time. Nonetheless, of course, we all are very thankful. 🙂

Tried some new things like riding a bicycle suspended on air (sky cycle), ziplining and sky swing (a massive swing). They’re all pretty scary in the beginning, but they’re all really fun. During the zipline, I felt really close to the sky so I screamed “I love you Daddy, and I’m sorry for everything” then I started crying a bit. It’s kind of scary because I think I’ve been suppressing a lot of feeling regarding daddy’s death, and I’m not sure how to deal with it properly, so they just come out in episodes like this.

Anyhow, the sky and weather was amazing today, so I can’t help but take pictures, of course.

 

Haaaay. Sky shots will always save me.

Day 012 – 2018.12.01

Happy Friday!!!

Should it be? Well yeah I guess it should be. It’s the end of the work week, tomorrow we have a staff trip to Bataan (yey!), and I’m chatting with a guy (uyyy).

Also, we already received news that Dad’s body will be coming home next week, so I guess that’s considered good news too. I can finally sleep better knowing that Dad’s delivered properly, finally.

These days, I’m having trouble sleeping. I haven’t started my tutorials yet so I have plenty of time to nap in the afternoon after work, but I just find it hard to find slumber fast. I end up reaching for my phone or reading a story when this happens. I always have a lot on my mind, but the matter of Daddy’s death is always at the back of it. I think it’s causing my insomnia.

Coincidentally, the fic I’m reading now has Isak with insomnia too because he’s been stressed about his mom, who has schizophrenia. Although she’s more stable then, his mind is constantly relegating to that thought, plus stress from uni, so he finds it really hard to sleep.

My insomnia is the other type, thank gosh, so I can still sleep around 12 or earlier.

Anyway, speaking of sleep, I think I’d have to do that now while I’m still feeling the buzz of sleepiness.

Day 002 – 2018.01.02

Lots of good memories from our Pangasinan trip!

I guess the best thing out of this experience is just bonding so well with my brothers. I don’t usually drink (especially with them), but I got myself drunk on New Years just because they were there. I’m especially learning more about their interests, and I think I’m opening more about my weirdness to them (haha!), and we’ve been laughing about many things together, so that’s really heart-warming.

Strange (or maybe not so much), but this is what my dad wanted for us all along: for all three of us to be in good terms. Although I’m not in a fight with any of them, but I’ve remained a bit distant to them. I mean, one, I don’t really share my interests with them. Yes, we all like anime and some TV shows and movies, but the ones that really captures my passion, they find a bit odd. And I find their obsession with basketball similarly odd too (lol)! But just yesterday night, we were discussing about aliens, predictions about the earth in the future, parallel universes and they were completely chill with it!

And the cheesiest sibling-ly thing we’ve done is getting the PUNYETA shirt!

HAHAHAHA! We wore it during New Year’s eve and to welcome the new year. We bad asses like that. Yeah!

It’s a bit late, but I hope Daddy is happy with what’s happening now with us. We’ll be fine, Daddy. We’ll be fine. Thank you for everything.

Day 365: 12.31.2017

“Auld Lang Syne”
N. Old times, especially those fondly remembered

This is Dictionary.com’s word of the day. How fitting to the picture we receive of my dad today.

He looks dapper in a suit, he looks peaceful, but he’s not moving nor breathing; he’s not smiling or making a joke at something; he’s not even looking at anyone because his eyes are closed–and that’s for eternity.

If Dad was still alive and he’s clad in the same suit, looking formal, looking really proper for a special occasion maybe, he’d ask me: “Pogi ba, Chie?” then I’ll annoy him with a tsk and a nod just to appease him, but he’ll brush off my nonchalance with a jest: “Siyempre pogi Daddy mo.” And I think he was. I think he really was. I just never got to say it to him sincerely because bickering had always been our game, my lambing. He had always been the vocal one, the more affectionate one, and I think that he had too much of it and I lacked some.

I would’ve enjoyed seeing him in a basketball jersey on top of that suit because I think that speaks more of one of his loves than a suit. My dad is laidback, a funny guy, likes to relax and be casual. He was always expressing that he deserve the pampering whenever he went home for a vacation because he’d been working his ass off, and of course, I saw the point in that. It’s just that there were times when I felt the same and I think at some point it became a competition, of who was more tired of life and who deserved more of what’s not given enough to us, so often I’ll roll my eyes and avoid the topic, and him along the way.

I didn’t grow up with my Dad the way my two brothers did, nor do I have the same interests as he did, so there would always be a gap in my heart wanting to understand him more, get to know him more, have him understand and know me more back, but I guess there’s nothing more to hope for now.

What I just wish, sincerely, with the numerous times my dad confided his sadness to me about the disconnect of our family, his situation in the states, the loss of his great love, and his loneliness, I hope all of that had been cleared as he entered a new life.

No more pain, Daddy. No more pain.
I just wish there’s more time to share, but then we don’t have that anymore, so I just wish you well there.

Your death is part of 2017 I’ll say goodbye to in a while, but your memories, the auld lang syne and even the unfavorable ones, I’ll hold on to as much as I can.

I love you, Daddy.
As much as you felt it, as much as I comprehended it.
I’m sorry for everything.
See you again.

Day 357: 12.23.2017

There’s still a lot of things to think about from here on getting my dad transferred from the US to the Philippines. No matter what, my siblings and I are determined to have his body delivered properly to where he wanted to lie in eternity with, even if it means being in debt for another 10 years of my life.

I think I can live with that.

This is my amend to Dad. This is my way of making up to him, for everything that I lacked as a daughter, I’d sacrifice more of my years to deliver him where he should be.

On the other hand, I’m very touched by the number of friends reaching out and assuring me that their lines are open for me to reach when I feel the need to talk to someone. I’m not that kind of friend to begin with, thus, I’m very happy that I actually have friends who show the initiative to be that kind of friend for me. Despite my lack in affection when it comes to reaching out, they still like me, they still care for me.

My younger brother was crying again tonight, expressing his doubts in God because both his parents are gone. I’m a bit lucky my mom is still here, but he’s technically parentless, although he still has us, his remaining family members.

To be honest, I didn’t know how to console him. Consoling crying people had always been awkward for me, and I feel my way of consoling doesn’t really comfort people. It’s tough love for me, and not everyone appreciates it. Because when one is feeling vulnerable, I don’t think anyone would like someone too strong with words. Comfort is associated with softness, and other than my fats, I don’t think I’m very soft anywhere else. Moreover, I don’t believe in the Christian god. I believe there’s a higher power though, and that everything, probably happens for a reason. The only thing we can do is live through life thinking that our life is molded by the decisions we make, and the ones we do not understand, like death of a loved one, is supposed to serve a greater purpose to our life.

Tita’s death proved to be a turning point in my life, causing a very big shift in the way I view life and myself. I didn’t understand my father before, and I think I never would, but I saw a very different side of his life that was in hindsight before: that you love because you want to, despite repeated rejections, you love because you want to. It’s possible.

I’m not sure where our lives will go from here, and honestly, I’m not that keen on seeing it yet, but I’m sure Tita and Daddy will be guiding us from where they are.

I love you both so much.