When I told you about my plans after earning my bachelor degree –that I have to find a job and thereafter enroll for a higher education, you were very supportive.
Although, understandably, you had some hesitations regarding the realizations of my goals, you neither said any words that would discourage me to pursue with I want nor let me feel that I couldn’t make it.
Instead, you helped me to get through the series of barriers I had to face during those times and made me feel that I had so much potential and that I can be whoever I wanted to be.
With your support and words of wisdom, I felt that I could do anything. I felt that regardless of unwanted events that may come my way, I know that I can make it through because you, mama and my siblings got my back.
When I got my first job, which is still my job at present, you were so proud of me. I can still remember how you bragged about me with your peers whilst you were in a drinking session. This, you do most of the time whenever your children achieve little milestones. I was shy and I found it unnecessary but sweet. 🙂
When I enrolled in a university to pursue this crazy dream of lawyering, you were afraid for me because nobody said it is going to be easy. Nevertheless, you never said “No”, you never said “You better focus on your work. You already have a degree so why seek for more educational attainment?”
In fact, you were even more excited than I was. You always offered to pay for my school fees no matter how little you had because, I think, you just wanted the feeling of sending your daughter to school. Most of the time, I refused because I wanted you to just keep what you had and save it for other more important matters.
Come October 2016, that was finals week for the first sem, I called you and mama to say how tired and demotivated I was.
Everything felt so heavy and getting favorable grades for all of my subjects was very difficult to achieve.
I cried and said I wanted to quit. But, as usual, you responded, “Nothing is difficult for someone who is good enough,” to which my younger sister Zin also echoed, “How could you achieve your dream if you start giving up?” With those words, I felt revived and believed that I could make it, and yes I did! I even fared well during that semester.
It was also during that time when you said, that you wanted to finance for my law books, because, again, you wanted the feeling of doing it.
I was about to give you the liberty of buying books for me but sudden turn of events changed everything.
Your laboratory results showed that you had tumor on your lungs and brain, and metastasis was entertained. My whole world then shattered and I never knew how to react, I never knew what to do, all the more I never knew what to say.
I just cried while you did, too. I hugged you while you were lying on your hospital bed. You told me to be strong for my siblings and for mama. Every time you reminded me to take good care of my siblings if anything bad happens to you, I wanted to cover my ears because hearing those words pierced my entire system.
Hearing those words made me feel that you were really about to leave us anytime soon. After our thorough conversation, I decided to stop for that semester in lawschool.
Fortunately, it was still on my first week of classes for the second sem so I can still withdraw from my subjects with less fees.
Fast forward, three months after that hospital scene, you really left.
You left us brokenhearted. But you know what, Pa, the pain of losing you might be severe, but I still feel that we are still very blessed.
You may have left us physically, but you prepared us for this. You might have known that this would come thus you silently worked your ass off to provide for us while you still can and hoping you can leave something that we can still take advantage of even when you finally rest.
When I lost you, I knew it was going to be very difficult. Although I would likely be okay because I am already of age to handle things my way, it was not going to be easy for my siblings and for mama.
My siblings are still very young and I hate to accept the fact that they will grow up without you, that they will celebrate little milestones in life without you. They cannot feel how it feels to be loved by a father like you.
They can no longer experience the type of disciplinary actions that you enforced to your children. I knew everything would be different. BUT I never stop praying. I never stop trying to at least fill in even just half of your shoes.
It is hard, Pa, but I will really try to be the daughter that you wanted me to be and be the person that I wanted myself to become.
Years after and here I am, on board a vessel to our hometown to commemorate your death anniversary.
I am writing about you while tears are unstoppably running down my cheeks.
I am reminiscing the memories that I have with you and wish to experience those over and over again.
You were not perfect. Some people might not understand how you deal with things. Sometimes, you were rude and unpredictable. But as your first child, I believe that I know you better.
You were a selfless man. You loved your children more than anyone else in this world. You provide for the family even if it would cost your life. You might be jealous at times for no reason (hehe) but you are a good husband in your own ways and rights. You loved your brothers and sisters and you were always proud of them.
You were a born leader. You loved our hometown and the people there that you always thought of how to make living in the place at least convenient. You were intelligent, strategic and creative.
You always fought for what you believed is right. You never wanted us to take advantage of other people. You wanted us to work on our own ways, to be self-reliant and to love our family no matter what.
And lastly, you always reminded us that,”You have to study well. I do not have any wealth or properties to leave as your inheritance. What I can offer though is your good education. that is the only thing I can leave you with in this world.”
After writing this narrative, I will get back to my law books, read cases and work like no other to fulfill a dream that we started together.
You may have left us in this world, but you are always in my heart. There maybe times that I feel giving up, but I don’t and I will not give up! I may make some pauses but that is only to ensure that I have sufficient energy and resources to finish my law school journey.
You will forever be one of the reasons why I dream not just for myself but also for the people I love.
I miss you very much, Papa. 💕💕💕