It’s been almost a year when I posted my last blog about why I don’t recommend on having one child. Primarily, because the child has to face many situations in life alone. Physically and more importantly emotionally draining for an only child facing challenges especially if no able parent is around.
Last night I finally decided to write again after my father had passed away last October last year. I lost my enthusiasm to write right after that. It took me a while to finally tell myself that I can again share my feelings with my readers. I was thinking maybe by doing so, I might be able to release some of the struggles I keep inside and they might find it sensible enough to read and relate with their lives.
We have been in and out of the hospital because of my Dad’s sickness then. He had a mild stroke a few years back. Half of his body was unable to move. He had hypertension but likes to drink with friends a lot and eat whatever he likes so I think it was his body saying you’re doing it excessively. I remember him telling us the story before he was rushed to the hospital because it happened in a friend’s house in Cavite. His story goes, it was early morning when everybody was still sleeping. It was still dark and the lights were out when he decided to get a glass of water in the kitchen when he felt his body grew heavy. When he was on the floor, he tried to feel his surroundings reaching with his left hand. He touched a cold foot and he felt really scared asking whose foot it was, he didn’t know and has no idea. After a while, he then came to the awareness that it was his own foot. Then finally came his rescue who found him lying on the floor in the kitchen like he initially told. They immediately called us and we rushed him to the hospital.
I was laughing when he was telling me that story, we both were. It wasn’t a laughing matter but how he told it made me laugh. My Dad is someone who likes happy times, friends, crowd. He was a genuinely a happy person. I remember him telling me once, that his dream was to die as early as 50 years old so he won’t have to grow very old and so that I don’t have to take care of him. Of course, for me, it was the worst idea ever.
After his stroke, his body was able to recover, and again, he was able to do all that he wanted. I don’t know if it comes with the age, but he’s really very stubborn. I remember one time I really cried to him out of frustration. I was angry and at the same time very worried because of his drinking and smoking. A person who had a stroke shouldn’t be doing the same thing again as it may lead to another attack, and he was not eating well even if we had food on the table. He told me, “this is good so I can die fast.”. I was really frustrated and told him. Do you think dying is cheap? What will happen to me when you die? Bury me in debt? He would counter me with his all-time favorite line, “Ibalot mo na lang ako sa banig at ihulog sa tulay (Wrap me in a sleeping mat and throw me from a bridge.”) And I told him, Oh my! How much is a mat? That is expensive! You are my father and I love you. I will not do that if you die. (Saying it while crying.) Then after that fight we had, he ate better and lessen his drinking. (He did it in secret though, wise old man.)
I remember the night before he passed away. He said he has colds. So, here came me with all my sermon because he was walking in the rain. With the low immune system, of course, he would catch a cold. He was having a clogged nose, but I can’t just give him any medicine yet because we were treating his heart. He was groaning like he always does, he said his back aches. He was his usual self but I saw he was a little weak as normal. I asked my husband to check on him, he said he was sleeping. I didn’t realize I fell in deep sleep that night. It wasn’t normal for me because I would usually get up from bed to urinate for at least 2 to 4 times a night and make sure to always get a quick look in his room which is always open so you can see him when you’re coming from the comfort room. That night, I never did. My Dad would normally wake me up if he’s feeling bad and asks me to take him to the hospital. But, that night, he never asked.
At 5:00 am in the morning, my husband woke me up with the saddest news of my lifetime. “Mommy, gising. Si Daddy.” When I heard that, I immediately rose from bed rushing to the room next to ours and found him gone. Just like that, he was gone. I never imagined life would be in such darkness losing someone you love so dearly. It was complete darkness. I didn’t know what to do, I wasn’t myself. I asked my household to check if there was any pulse left to get him back. They told me there was none, but he was still rushed to the hospital hoping to have him revived. But, he was pronounced DOA (dead on arrival). I did not go with them to the hospital, I cannot bear to see him being revived. I opted to be left home and cry. For the rarest time, I was weak to my knees. I was blank. My husband did most of the decision-making, I would just agree. I felt helpless, I was clouded by the loss and the worry on how to make it through all the expenses that I have to face.
My Dad was a good man, his friends loved him, children love him. Dealing with the worry on how to make it through was really not too hard. I kept on talking to God and my Dad during his wake to help me out because I can’t do it alone, I only had enough for our daily needs and schooling of the kids. Good thing that the City of Taguig has burial assistance, so I didn’t have to worry about it. We had to produce enough for his cremation and our trip back to the province where he will have his final resting place. It was his request to take him there, so I’m giving him his wish at least for the last time. Donations from his friends, family, my friends, and colleagues from work and my husband’s friends poured out allowing us to have enough to send him home.
It’s been almost a year but my memory is still fresh. I still cry for him most of my nights. I still remember his smile, his laughter, his frowning face when he’s angry at me, his singing and speaking voice, the feel when holding his arms, and his unwavering stubbornness. I miss all of it. So if you ask me if there is moving on from a loss, I don’t think there is moving on from it. You don’t move on and leave it behind. You move on and take it with you. You move on and accept that it’s all part of you and there is no leaving behind. It will forever be part of you.
To you my dearest father Eddie, I love you. I will see you again in God’s perfect time. I may be the only one who mourns deeply for you. But, we are many who loves you. Sending you my prayers and love.