Saturday, August 8, 2009

Something to Share: 10 Years Passing

Me, my mom and my dad.. :)
I can't remember why I'm dressed like this. :))

I just really want to give him a tight hug :)

Kung Fu Master? I love the hat. I wonder where it is..

I have a mountainous pile of paperworks (academic and extracurricular) to take care of this weekend and it would be best if I focus on accomplishing them at once so that I can start making up for the mess that I made in the monthly grading period. But I am a writer and I feel the need to express. Not to mention, it is the time of the year once more. Only this time, I feel that this year is different.

To those who have known me since the Saint Jude Catholic School days, I suppose you know all about my story. For those who have met me in college, you probably don't. I don't disclose any information about me because I don't want the challenges that I went through (or am still going through) to be an excuse for my personality. I also want to know who would be concerned enough to really get to know me. So, it's not really that I have trust issues. It's more like I just don't like it when I blab wholeheartedly to deaf ears. At any rate, I'd just go on and share something about me. I don't normally do this but somehow, I just feel that this would make me feel better and will help me be more at peace.

It's August again and there are somethings that are triggered when it's August. There really is nothing wrong with August. In fact, there are more things to celebrate in August. August is my Dad and Mom's Birthday. I have a lot of friends who celebrate their birthdays in the same month. St. Dominic de Guzman's feast day is also celebrated in this month and so is Cory's ATOM (August Twenty One Movement). There really is nothing wrong with August. Until my dad passed away in the same month.

August 23, 1999 - I was in school an I was really looking forward to my dad's birthday party that evening. His real birthday was on August 13. But the thing with us Chinese is that we also celebrate a "Chinese" birthday and it varies every year. It just so happened that this year, it fell on the 23rd - a Monday. That afternoon, I was suddenly not feeling well at around 2-3 p.m. I didn't know why, but I wasn't feeling well too. Not to mention, I wasn't able to complete the task that I usually do (SJCS moments: Pei Nian or memorizing the lesson verbatim in front of the teacher). I don't know why but I just felt that something wasn't right. But I dismissed the thought. It was my father's birthday celebration and we were going to have a party that night and he wants me to sing. I suppose that's the thing with being the youngest in the family, when everyone becomes older, we get the lime light in doing something on stage. So as soon as we were dismissed, I met up with my brother so that we can go home immediately. Just like me, my dad doesn't like to be late. So despite having that awkward feeling earlier that afternoon, I happily met with my brother and boarded the van.

Upon boarding the van, I immediately noticed that the driver was acting in an awkward way. He whispered somethings to my brother and then my brother was suddenly dumbfounded. No words were uttered to me. I was only 10 years old back then and I suppose they don't really know how to break any news to me. But I was able to sense that things were not right. My brother kept cursing and punching the roof of the van and the driver's eyes were already teary-eyed. I didn't let them see that I knew what was going on. I just silently prayed that everything would be alright. We were already on the way home and I was really hoping that we would BE going home. But I noticed that the path we were taking was not to our house. It was to Chinese General Hospital. I am a writer. I express my feelings and my thoughts. But I cannot fathom on the words to use to describe how the feeling was 10 years ago that even up until this moment, I just have to fight back the tears. The driver pulled over as soon as we reached the emergency room. My brother immediately stepped out of the car and I followed. We were greeted by a family friend who was expressing his sympathy. at that moment,I honestly was not sure that the worst had happened. All that I have in mind is that he might still be alive and that I will still be able to talk to him.

We stepped into the Emergency Room and my mother's wails were what greeted us. That was it. I may be young and I should be optimistic but I know that reality was going to slap me on the face BIG TIME. MASSIVE HEART ATTACK - this was all that I could pick up with my almost 10-year old brain at that moment. My father passed away at 3 p.m. that day. I never really mentioned this to my family: it was probably the same moment when I felt that there was something wrong. We were brought to his body. That was when I finally had to accept it. The reality was there standing before me. I always feared corpses and the dead. I was never comfortable in viewing them because they stick vividly in my memories and haunts me at night. But I looked at the casket anyway. This was the last time that I'm going to see him physically. I shouldn't let cowardice take hold of me. This IS my father. I shouldn't be afraid. But boy did that image stuck with me. I can still recall how he looked like. I can say he looks different - really different. But nevertheless, he is still the father that I loved so dearly.

I wouldn't want to dwell on what happened to our family after that. I believe it's none of anyone's interest and it was too much if I would share it. Perhaps,it would just be safe to say that we all coped/adjusted/adapted in our own ways. I would rather say how it was for me to have the dad that I have.

I was a very unexpected baby. My mother was already 38 when she conceived me and the some were already suggesting an abortion since there was a possibility of me having defects. Well, thank goodness they both love me so much that they decided to keep me, heh. Anyways, needless to say, I was showered with all the love that I can ask for. My dad was always there for me whenever I needed him. I was always close to my parents and I always tail them because my siblings were already old at that time (Go figure: +15, +14, +6 I suppose this proves that I was unexpected). I recall tailing my dad wherever he goes and trying to catch his attention. I was ridiculously spoiled back then and I have to admit that. They would more or less give me almost anything that I want as long as it was still reasonable. I just can't help but smile whenever I recall these memories. Here are some of the memories I had in the earlier 10 years of my life:

~ The Sunday morning swimming habit - Every single one of us would wake up quite early on a Sunday and go with him to the Sports Club and swim :))

~ The late night bowling tournaments - I didn't care if I had school next morning. I don't follow my sleeping patterns. I sleep between my parents until I was 7? I suppose I was making sure that I was the youngest. Haha!

~ The Jollibee or McDo moments that we have everytime they arrive home from the bowling or late night parties. My dad always knew that I want Chicken McNuggets. Haha

~ The Thursday badminton moments - He would play with me even though he was tired from his tennis sessions... I would even pester him to get off the office and go to the sports club.

~ The very early Tagaytay/Subic trips - Oh yeah it was really early and we always had guests then

~ The Singing times - I suppose I got my passion for singing from my dad. He loves to karaoke and so do I! We used to do this when I was young. But when he passed, I didn't sing anymore until I was on 2nd year. I asked voice lessions as a gift from my mom that year. Needless to say, wish granted.

~ Bowling days - I suppose that this was our bonding. We play bowling together every Sunday...

~ Wrestling Mode - He wrestles me back then. :)) and tickles me until I feel like I'm going to pee.

~ First Business Lesson - He taught me how to count the interest given the principal and the rate when I was in the 1st grade. =)) Just because I was a Math Wiz back then. =))

~ Peek-a-boo moments - When I caught him uhm.. and mom. hehe. clothes on ;) Just old fashion sweetness :)

And probably lot more that I spaced out... These were the memories that I can still recall and that I suppose I want to put into writing so that after a few more years, I can look back at it.

I can't really express everything because I only knew him as a son and perhaps as a friend at some point. But I can really say that he is one of the greatest person that anyone can ever know. And a lot of people really did testify to that. No matter how limited the time I had with him, I can really say that I am proud to be called his son. All that I have to do now is to make sure that he is proud of me...

I just can't believe that it's already been 10 years..

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