They’ve always said that I am every bit my father’s daughter. Many years ago, I wouldn’t have believed it, probably even hated it. Now however is a totally different story.
It has been 5 months and 15 days since my dad passed away. The void is still painfully there, a certain longing and the uncertainties still lurk in the shadows. I may not cry as hard now, but when my tears do fall, it hurts just as much as the day he went away.
I seek solace from random memories of him and me, and tonight, I am grasping as much from it like a lifeline.
When I was a kid, I never really thought much of certain moments that my dad and I shared. Now as an adult who is feeling the great loss, I reminisce the times we were together...
My mind wanders back on particular days that my father would take his guitar from where it hung, sit on a chair and would start strumming. It was my cue to immediately run to him (invited or not) wriggle my way from under his arm to sit on his leg, my goal was to be caught in between guitar and chest. I wasn’t particularly sure what song he was singing before I went up to him, but I know that somehow, we would sing that song which would always have my mother and grandmother sitting with us in the living room.
He would usually start by kissing the top of my head. I couldn’t really see much from where I was sitting but I knew that my dad has begun playing the guitar. I would feel the vibrations coming from the instrument, his left hand moving left and right, right arm going up and down as the guitar magically comes to life. I would then hear him hum, though I was not really sure when my part would begin. I would just listen to him sing or hum while I moved my head in time with his song. Then I would hear it – MY PART! I would feel a gentle nudge and it was then that I would sing that certain chorus that I have learned by heart. I would bellow with much bravado and sometimes, I would catch him chuckling as he continued to play. My mother and grandmother would often encourage us to continue and somehow, my father always indulged them. I was painfully shy when I was a kid, but it was during those times that I never felt timid.
This is my part of the song:
Tatanda at lilipas din ako
(I’ll grow old and one day I’ll pass away)
Ngunit mayro'ng awiting
(But there will be a song)
Iiwanan sa inyong alaala
(that I shall leave for you to remember)
Dahil minsan, tayo'y nagkasama
(for all those times we were together)
I miss my father terribly. The loss is great, the sadness inexplicable.
Moments that I wish he is still around, the kid in me cries for that so much, but the adult in me knows that he is so much better off without the pain. I am grateful that I am truly my father’s prized daughter; and when the missing part goes unbearable yet again, I can always think back on the memories that no one can ever take away.