April 16th 2002 was the day my father died. He died because of a big heart. There were some issues about his death at the hospital where he died. As far as I remember, he was confined because of a suspected typhoid fever or maybe malaria. Their diagnosis led them to give him a med that worsened his heart’s condition leading to his sudden death. After he died, our mother told us that 7 years ago, before our father died, his doctor at the PGH told her that he only got two years to live. Anyway, he had five years more or maybe more if he went to a better hospital.
I don’t know if my father knew that he was about to die that minute. There was no obvious sign that neither he nor my mom could notice. They were just having a chat like it’s another usual morning at the hospital bed. However, the last thing he communicated to my mom before he finally closed his eyes was a grin, a peaceful smile that says, “live or die, but it’s always been a joy to have lived my life with you and our children.”A montage about my father flashed in my head. I was called in the midst of my electrical circuits class then to the dean’s office where I was told about the news. I was emotionless, I think, at that time. I had to see it by myself if he really was dead. After an hour and a half travel to home, I was emotionally broken as soon as I saw my father lying lifeless in a bed. I have loved him the most in my entire life that moment and it was the most hurtful time as well because he’s gone.
There were a lot of things when I was young that I don’t understand about Him while he was alive. Nevertheless, I do understand now that I have my own child. Raising a child is tough and you need tough love. That tough love is what I remember of Him. He corrected me in a way that equals my rebellious attitude. I remember how my parents explains it to me that it was love that pushes them to discipline me.
I believe in the sinful part of every person that starts the moment he’s born. We have a nature that tends to disobey and to just do what you want and be that self-absorbed person. That is why good parents are important.
My father was my coach and protector. When I was a kid, the first disciplinary act I remember was getting spanked with a belt or a split bamboo cane. I broke the rule to get home early after my kindergarten class at St. Thomas because my schoolmate who has lots of toys from abroad invited me to play at his house instead. After a few hours from my expected time to be home, my father found where I was and carried me home angry. I don’t know exactly know how and why I forgot about that rule but maybe because I don’t see the importance of going home at the set time and I enjoy playing with imported toys. But what matters to them is not about going home on time or playing with a friend but avoiding the possible risks of me getting hurt; hunger because I forgot about lunch and the disobedience that might make me stiff-necked if not corrected soon. However, I don’t clearly see those reasons yet and I can bear the punishment, besides, they would always talk to me in the end and tells me that they love me so. So, I just continued breaking the rules and bearing the discipline from time to time, for they just love me anyway.A time came though that I finally came to my senses because I can no longer bear the intensity of the punishment and I oftentimes get into various troubles. My awareness about Christianity, goodness and kindness became clearer and stronger. Eventually, I accepted Jesus Christ too.My father was my counselor. But then again, I was in college when I started courting a girl because of peer pressure and disappointment from someone. It came to a point of following her in her hometown during the weekend instead of going home. My parents were disappointed again but I didn’t get spanked with a belt or anything, however, I received the last words of advice from my father. It was a serious moment, calm and anger-free talk. He asked me about my goals and told me to order my priorities. He told me that I can go if I wanted to court and marry the girl, but I’ll be on my own because marriage takes the son away from home, or I can stay if I wanted to finish my degree and prepare for my future. He told me more things that convinced me to think deeper about my life and start getting serious about my studies. I finally had a goal in mind — after finishing my degree; I’ll get some work experience in the capital region then work abroad.
My father was my best friend. I came to understand him more and more. I even thought that he understands me more than my mom. It was Him that I like to travel with more or be left in the house to stay with us. Together we played scrabble, watch, do artworks, told jokes, cooked and ate, played the guitar, prayed and read and answered puzzles. There were other more things that we did together and that he allowed me to do when mom’s not around, like listening to my favorite alternative rock songs, Beatles and country songs, reading the gone with the wind and other novels, watching the Sang Linggo nA PO sila, going out with friends, eating junk foods and not washing the dishes when tired. One of the things he did for my sister that I really like was when he bought her a tape of the This Time Around album of the Hanson’s. That was thoughtful of him I think.
My father was my defender. He was tough. He was a black belt and a boxer during his prime years. He was tall and even better-looking than Chuck Norris. When I was in grade three, my parents transferred me into another school because of my bad associations. It was there where I experienced a series of bullying from the same person who’s in grade six. The second of the worst bullying experience was when the old grade six guy took my favorite cap which my father gave. I never told him about it. The old grade six guy also had the habit of taking my bicycle anytime he wants without asking me. He even vandalized some parts of my bike. The next day, I asked my father to buy me a chain to lock my bike. However, the first worst thing that the old grade six guy did was he hammered the lock of my bike with a rock, in a n attempt to destroy the lock, even when while I was standing there watching him. He was unsuccessful though but the lock was damaged and the key is no longer usable. The old grade six guy was disappointed so he took my bike and threw it on the ground trying to damage it more, then left. A little later, an adult came and managed to destroy the lock so I could get home. My father saw the lock and my bike and inquired what happened. I finally told him, so the next morning, we went to the house of the old grade six guy. My father asked about the father of the old grade six guy and when he came out, my father gently but firmly spurred his purpose of coming and what his son did. The father of the old grade six guy got angry at his son and I don’t know what happened after because my father asked me to stay outside. They gave me back my cap and paid for the damaged lock. Since then, the old grade six guy didn’t bother me anymore and even told me to call him if somebody dares to bully me.
After my father died, I found an old tape which was labeled with my nick name. It was a recording of my parents’ conversations with me when I was maybe four years old. It was funny and moving listening to it. The way I answer every questions they ask me was making my parents laugh and every story I tell cheers them so much. I wonder why but I can totally sense their love and joy for having me. It’s that joy that I also feel now towards my little daughter. No other human indeed matches the care of a true loving parent. They nurture, care, train, sacrifice and fight for their child no matter what the cost. To my father – sleep well till we see you in Heaven.