It’s been quite a while since my last post. I haven’t written until yesterday when we were told to write an essay about a topic that I wasn’t so sure about. It took me minutes to gather my thoughts. Good thing, I was able to finish a two-page essay in the end, though I was not pretty sure it reached the 1,200-word limit.
Anyway, last Sunday, the world celebrated father’s day. It feels good to know that there are fathers who truly work hard and sacrifice things just for their families. I salute you fathers of such kind. And to my father, here’s a letter that I found in my laptop drafted a year ago. I know you won’t be surprised with its content.
You’ve been away from home for four years now.
You didn’t greet me on my last four birthdays (which could have completed my days had you simply texted).
You didn’t ask how we were during and after super typhoon Haiyan, or when that 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit Bohol and created havoc in Cebu (of which date fell on mother’s birthday, October 15). You weren’t there to assure us security. You have no idea how terrified we were.
Your love for mum faded away like a house paint facing different seasons of the year. You loved another woman and you didn’t even think of the devastating consequence – our family tearing apart. Despite the unbearable heartache, we still accepted you and granted you chances. Chances, dad, not just one chance. This actually led me to wonder whether you truly love us, because with such chances, you could have mended the heartache you caused us. You could have supplied the hollow from the deep wounds with love. You could have corrected your mistakes. You could have. But instead, you found a new family – your vices – and you were inseparable. You didn’t make up, dad. You didn’t learn from your mistakes. You didn’t change for good, for me, bro and mum. You didn’t change at all. You didn’t do anything to make our family whole again. You were so light to be carried away even by the softest of winds.
You’ve always made us feel like you don’t exist, dad. Our love ones who passed away even exert efforts on making me feel their presence but you, dad, oh, you do nothing. You don’t even text me to ask how I’m doing.
I wanted to loathe you for causing us heartache and pain. For leaving us like it’s the simplest thing to do in the world. But mum tells me not to hate you because you’re still my father no matter what. You’re still my father despite everything you’ve done. You’re still my father.
And you always will be.
What makes me sad is that I never heard you ask for forgiveness. It could have just smoothened the situation. It could have just glued back the shards. It could have just made me forget what happened. But you didn’t. You even showed no regret and rather went on like nothing happened.
I used to wonder what could have gone wrong.
Eventually, I learned that you just love yourself, dad.
But then I would remember how you stood as both mother and father when mum went to Doha, Qatar to work. How you trained me to play chess and pretend like we’re in a tournament when I have gotten good with it. How you would crack corny jokes. How you always impress and leave me in awe with your ‘kugita’ (squid) dish. How you’d accompany me to internet cafes late at night to do some school works. How you would trust me even when I lie. How, at some point, I had a taste of your paternal love.
However, I still could not forget how you wasted the n chances we granted you. How you never changed when you had all the time to.
But dad, I hope you know that at the end of the day, I still long for you.
That somehow, though impossible it may seem, our family will be whole again.
That I want you to be my escort when I walk down the aisle towards the altar.
That I look forward to serving you when you’re old and sick.
That even if you never asked for forgiveness, I have secretly forgiven you.
That despite everything you’ve done, despite how I tried planting rage in my heart, such beastly thing will never sprout because a big tree of love is still alive in there, continually blooming amidst the drought.
I hope you know that at the end of the day, I could not bear hating you forever.
Because you will always be my father. A father who would always have this special place in my heart even when it’s full of patches and scars.
Because I still love you, dad.
I never stopped.
Remembering you on this father’s day and the infinite days to come,