June 13, 2008

Dearest Dad

Dearest Dad,

Wherever you are, Happy Father’s Day! It has been difficult to celebrate this time of the year when you know there’s nothing to look forward to. I cannot be as excited as my friends are, or be as ecstatic as the commercials are with their broad smiles and celebratory cheers. It’s reality, but a bitter one indeed. No treats for you anymore at an eat-all-you-can buffet at your favorite Japanese restaurant. Remember the time when you encouraged me to try sashimi telling me that even a sliver of raw fish can taste divine. Or treat you to a great WWII dvd movie where we can watch together as father and son. I bought one of your favorite movies, “Empire of the Sun,” just to savor that lingering feeling of you and mom being there. Oh dad, I have saved enough to treat you to life’s small luxuries especially now that your son has been earning his keep. I had hoped it would be my time to serve you, to take care of you, that you won’t anymore open you wallet just as you had before. Your generosity is your lifelong lesson for me, so that I will be equally generous to those I love.

How I wish I can regale you with my work at the hospital- the fastidious folks, the patients that I’ve sent home alive, or even the rare diseases I have witnessed. Isn’t this your life long dream to have a son who will one day become a full-fledged doctor? I had hoped to hear from you asking me for free samples for your joint pains after a round of golf or even advice about your disease when you had your esophageal CA years back.

Remember the time when you drove me to my high school asking me what college course I’d like to apply in Manila? I said I’ll take up archaeology because I have been dreaming of buried gold underneath our garden. You told me there’s no money in that, and I’d be better off being a doctor. You were so happy then knowing I took that path that even when I transferred to my dormitory to start my medical degree, you were the one who cut and applied the contact paper to my dorm table so that my books won’t get scratched.

It’s amazing how I remember all the little things when you are gone. They are like precious nuggets of memories that I try to save just so I won’t forget you, or mom. Since I can’t anymore add to those future milestones, these become important to me- the lessons you’ve drilled into me (like time management because you always catch me at the computer at 1am), the times you’ve berated me (like the time when you taught me how to drive but gave up on me on the first lesson), and your passion for living (like snorkeling and enjoying bangus bellies.) All I could say is “Thanks Dad” for everything. And even though you’re not here anymore, this day is still my tribute to you- by remembering all that you have done for me to become the person I am now and to realize that the dream you once planned for us have come true. Our success in this world is our only gift to you.

Your son.

5 comments:

Theresa said...

It's so refreshing to see something like this coming from someone like you. You , of all people, always stand as my reminder of how important parents are. I'm sure your dad is proud and happy of and for you. He has truly raised a son who has done well in remembering the love that he has showered him.

Rose Longakit said...

Your post reminded me of countless little things in life that actually mean a lot... so "thanks". :)

This particular post moved me. I'm sure you know why.

Halong and God bless you.

AngelMD-No-More said...

sniff! way to go j! im sure ur dad, ur mom included, are watching over u. they surely are proud of wat uve become. demented as u might appear now...hehehe, ure now their mature and an all grown-up unico hijo. cheer up! we have a "dad" in the department, dont we?=)

Justin said...

This is a strong post.

I have no relationship with my real dad. I spoke to him for the first time in 20 years about 6 months ago. I don't think he taught me anything by example, my step father didn't take the most active role in raising me but he has done his best. My experience is the opposite of yours at this stage. For years I suspected something was missing from my life by not having my father in it, but then when I spoke with him after so many years I discovered my mother and I were better off the entire time.

Sometimes the things that seem like they are missing are really right in front of you.

jj said...

thanks guys.. .your comments past and present are truly appreciated :)