It's been 5 years since I last saw you and I am longing for you since then. I know you are very happy now in a place we normally call heaven. 5 years ago, you flew with the angels leaving mom and I not knowing what to do and how to live our lives without you. I feel so devastated that time. I remember you telling me to be brave in whatever that will test my character. With your passing, I tried to be brave for mom and for myself, I tried every possible way just to be brave but when it comes to you, I just can't help but be sad and cry.
We had a lot of wonderful memories together. I remember the first time we ate at Kenny Rogers without mom knowing it. I remember every breakfast we shared, during those times, I just can't skip breakfast. I have to wake up 6AM on weekends because you hate eating with either mom and I missing. It always has to be the 3 of us. I remember how happy you were everytime I'd tell you that my friends were coming to our house. I remember your excitement that you'll cook for them and entertain them as if they were your guests and not mine. I remember how close you were with them. And I won't hide the fact that they loved you for that. That made me even more proud that you are my father. I remember, when I was a kid, you'd wake me up early in the morning so we could jog together. I remember you playing with me and my cousins in our village's clubhouse. I remember you swimming with me and my cousins in my kiddie pool. I remember that whenever you're back in the country, you would always throw a welcome home party and at the end of the day, it was you who's so drunk and had passed out. :P I remember how mom telling you to lessen your drinking and smoking. She was happy when you stopped smoking but a bit devastated that you can't stop excessive drinking, even if your rheumatism almost killed you. I remember you taught me how to drink lambanog with mom looking mad at us, hehe. I remember when you told me that you'll do everything for me to go to the best school for college. And yes, because of your hardwork, I was able to go to a good school, maybe not the best that you dreamt of, but sure it is good, very good. You also taught me to just smile at problems and embrace all the blessings that's been given to us. I remember how excited I was to go to the airport to fetch you from your 10 month to 1 year journey as a sailor. I vividly remember when you got mad at me when I skipped meals just to watch mtv, that you told me to stop eating and go to my room. That was the first time I experienced your anger so bad. I remember the exact moment when you told mom to accompany you to the doctor because you're not feeling well. I clearly remember mom talking to her brother about your check up that I saw uncle hugged her and she couldn't stop crying. Of course she didn't allowed you to see it. I thought to myself, what's happening? But I didn't mind it, instead I kept myself busy with the computer. I remember the very moment when mom, for the first time asked me to sit down and told me that we have a very important matter to discuss. Not knowing what it was, I sat down on the couch with my cellphone in my hand, texting whoever it was. Mom handed me a green envelope with your name written on the back part. Mom asked me to open it, and she suddenly blurted, "be prepared." I asked "for what?" Then she dropped the bomb right in my face, she uttered "Dad's suffering from colon cancer stage 4." She started crying, I didn't know what to do, I just opened your bedroom door, looked at you sleeping, then I walked to my room. I swear I didn't cry right away. I didn't know what I was feeling that time. A lot of questions running in my mind, dad. I clearly remember, I asked God not to take you too soon. I started crying.
I had my 17th birthday party and you're 54th in 2005. Although it wasn't you who organized it because you were already bedridden, but I swear that was the best birthday party I had. What made me more happy was when I saw your friends sang happy birthday to you in your bed, I smiled and cried at the same time but I didn't show you I was crying. I didn't want you to see me crying because I was holding to what you said that I need to be brave. It was so nostalgic that if I think of it now, I still smile knowing that your friends love you so dearly. Your kindness and positive attitude despite every trials that came your way was embedded in their hearts, I know that very well. Dad, I am more humbled when one of my godfathers came to me in one of our reunions and told me not to worry because you are forever in their hearts and that they won't forget you ever.
I envied my batchmates during my college graduation because their families are complete. They both have their mom and dad on that special day. But I was relieved thinking that even if you're not there physically, I felt your presence emotionally and I thought, I hope I made you proud for graduating on time. Because I know, that was your ultimate dream for me.
Now, nothing has changed, I still longed for you everytime I feel sad and everytime I see children with their dads. I wish God didn't took you soon. But I can't change the fact that you're now with Him and constantly watching over mom and me.
Daddy, I know I was not able to be the best daughter for you, I had my shortcomings, that I questioned myself if I was ever worthy to be your daughter. But I'm so glad that you made me feel that I am. With all the things that I do now, I just wish for one thing. I hope I make you proud. I hope you can brag up there that I am your daughter because down here, I am not ashamed to tell everyone that you are my father. You are the best and I wouldn't exchange you for anyone.
I miss you and I love you for all eternity, daddy.