Sunday, June 21, 2009

father's day musing

i was trying to write a tribute or something for my dad who passed away more than 13 years ago but i couldn't make myself complete it. there are just too many distractions and i also don't think i am ready to write a complete tribute.

i miss my dad. lately, i have had a series of dreams with him and my grandmother, who is also gone. in my dreams, they are both interestingly alive but quite honestly, though, i don't remember what exactly those dreams are about -- i forgot... you know how dreams go, they're like a badly-edited montage and the only things that really strike you are those that are very familiar to you.

my dad died when i was 19 and was about to graduate from college. i can still remember the day when i was told of his death. it is something i wouldn't wish for any 19-year-old to hear about anyone of his or her parents - to say it is devastating is simply not accurate. it's a feeling of loss that's just simply incomparable and indescribable.

i was only three months away from graduation when my dad passed away. it was on a wednesday. there was nothing unusual that morning except for that urgent long distance call from our province telling me that my dad was rushed to the town hospital and would be airlifted to manila when his condition improves. i was asked to contact his primary physician in the city (he was being treated for cirrhosis of the liver) and arrange for her to see my dad when he gets to manila. i didn't panic. my dad was being treated for an illness and i thought it was just normal for him to be brought to the hospital.

when you are young, mortality is not something you associate immediately to situations like being hospitalized or by merely being sick. i always thought any sickness could be cured unless it was something like aids or cancer.

after i called the doctor (who was unfortunately out of town), i made a mental note to call again later that day. i prepared for school. we were having mid-term exams that week and my focus was more towards passing those exams than really worrying about dad - but the thought was nagging me throughout the day.

i couldn't completely recall now what happened in school. all i remember is that i was feeling so low and down that day and i thought i was just gonna get sick.

i was in school the entire afternoon. i did not hang out with my girlfriend at her dorm like i used to after classes. i just decided to go home.

i was on my way home when i felt hungry. i was already near my tito's house in fairview when i felt it. it was a different kind of hunger - my stomach wasn't growling or anything, it was as if i was being controlled by something to stop somewhere and stuff myself with food. i usually don't eat out (my allowance was just enough for the essential stuff). i checked if i had money and luckily i still have with me this pizza hut gift cheque given to me by my tito a week earlier.

at pizza hut i ordered a box of their personal size pizza and i ate everything - i was that hungry! when i was done, i lingered for sometime before i took the next jeepney home.

when i arrived home, the house was quiet, which was normal, but now, as i look back, it was unusually, eerily quiet. i was asking everyone if there was another call from the province but everyone was evasive and pretending to be busy. no one was really talking to me except for my grandma who kept prodding me to eat. i told her i could't because i just had a box-full of pizza. but she just kept going on and on about me having dinner. they all had dinner and the house help had already prepared the table for me so i forced myself to eat.

i probably had a few bite before my grandmother came to me crying. all she told me was, "your papa (that's how i call my dad) is gone." i was probably naive or what, but all i uttered back was "how?"

everyone in the house gathered around me, including my ailing uncle who would also die a week later, to comfort me. they were all crying but i wasn't. it was only later, when i was alone praying inside the room i shared with my two other cousins, that the tears started to flow. the pain of losing a parent coupled with the fear of having an uncertain future is like having your heart pierced and broken into pieces yet you are so helpless to even voice out a cry.

i may have cried myself to sleep that night. in the morning we all went home.

when we buried him, i promised my dad that i would just be okay. i have two younger siblings and i didn't really worry about us. we were lucky to have each other and our mom who is just the best there is. 13 years to the present, i would really have wanted to take dad out today. i am not ashamed to tell the world that my dad struggled with alcoholism. it's not his fault. he grew up in a time and in a culture where drinking is the only other alternative to socializing. he had no other choice.

to my dad... happy father's day to you. see you soon in my dreams. i love you.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi friend, i love this post...

Anonymous said...

you made me cry with this, i hate you, he, he.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this, you made me cry..

Anonymous said...

Hey brother, you made me feel lonely...I know where you're coming from..I also lost my father just a couple years ago I felt the same way..The only difference is that I lost him when I'm already have my own family to back me up but the sad part of it, I came back home to see him lying lifeless....I know he'll always guide me and my family as he always did in his life. Happy father's day Papa....

Anonymous said...

this is your best blog so far...........

Anonymous said...

you got me choked up there... i still remember his unexpected visits back in highschool. i'm sure he's so very proud of what you and your other siblings have achieved.
thanks for posting yet another hoenst blog :)

Anonymous said...

i miss my dad too. Happy Father's day papa.

CALIFORNIA STAR said...

just read tour article...it's touching and i can realte cause my dad passed away 2 years ago. Its' nice knowing the other side of you non- showbiz world ! keep posting love your articles !

Raymond Lo said...

i am overwhelmed by the response i am getting for this post. thank you to all who posted their comments and sent me emails.

Anonymous said...

raymond dear

very touching...i love it
i miss my papa too (made me cry and really felt lonely).

take care

Anonymous said...

you make me cry kuya raymond...you know what? wherever you dad is right now.. i know he is proud of all your achievements as well as your siblings...i'm very glad that my dad is still alive...happy father's day papa...

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Raymond Lo said...

from my good friend who wishes not to be identified :) -- thanks

When I read this post about the "father's day" thing, I was so touched that I felt like crying but held my tears back 'coz I was in the office. I wish to comment as soon as I finished reading but I'm not as good as you in so far as writing prowess is concerned. I take awhile in composing thoughts and I might consume like hours in the office trying to organize my thoughts until such time that my co-workers might catch me attending to personal matters.

Anyway, here's the thing: I really like this post, it was so well written that I felt like I was on your shoes. I lost my father too when I was in my sophomore years, almost the same cause as in your father. But one thing for sure now, wherever your father was, he'll be very proud of where you are and what you became. You are amazing!

Anonymous said...

Raymond, as i read through your story... i burst into tears, i find myself hmmmm ayaw nala kay uga... wa ak pakatangpos! kay you knew well "Who was your Dad to me", as "my only Manoy Rody"(he may rest in peace)... i miss him too, they way he cooked adobo na may bulad and boiled eggs- nga di ko nasusuga an pagluto, hehehehe

i liked your posting...it is worth remembering people who made a difference in our lives, and even more worthy to remember people who played and do so many great great things for us... this too reminds me of your Lolo Doming... your Uncle Chito...

On the other hand we must thank God for giving these people to us... for with out them, their greatness and love we wont like to recall the past...

Happy Fathers day to them, and they may rest in peace....

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