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11 Years

Eleven years ago, I lost my father. It was one of the saddest and helpless days of my life.

I have not told this story on this blog.  I hate pity parties, especially for me.  But today , as I look at my Facebook I saw my status and I realized how sad I was then and even now remembering everything.

The day before my father died, I told him to wait for me I will get a doctor for him.  He is the usual stubborn  typical old man who doesn’t want to see a doctor.  But he was deteriorating really fast.  Only a few knew how I took care of him until his last breathe.  My older brother and older sister are not with us. He was with his family, sister was working abroad.

I clean my father’s bed, I change his clothes, I fed him.

A few days before he died I asked what he wanted to eat.  He said he want paksiw na baboy.  I can’t make it but I bought it at SM Fairview Lydia’s Lechon. It was his last meal I fed him before I left to fetch a doctor.

Hours after I left including traffic and travel time. I found a doctor to come the next day for home service.  But as I was on the ride home, at the back of an FX van, I got a call from our neighbor.  She said my father passed away.

I froze and couldn’t contain the sadness I felt and burst into tears in the van.  I even got other passengers worried who asked what happened.  I said my father died.   I cried a good cry for half an hour. I feel bad for my fellow passengers but my pain I can’t contain.

After gaining my self composure again I called back my neighbor. She was telling me what I need to buy for my father’s funeral.

I have never experienced death in my immediate family ever. I don’t know what to do.

I mass texted my close friends in my phonebook that time.  One of them responded and helped me with the funeral arrangements.  That person I will never forget and will forever be indebted to him for helping me in my darkest moment was no less than actor Efren Reyes Jr.  He hooked me up with his friends from Arlington Memorial and this friend Cherry called and assist me in all my needs.

This all happened on fone while on the FX, traffic was already worst in Commonwealth so it took me awhile.

When I got back home I was devastated by what I saw.  Some strange men in there measuring my dad and about to take away his body.

I became a frantic crazy woman squirming around the floor scaring those men away.  They’re fly by night or cheap funeral service nearby who just come fast when they found out someone’s dead and give commissions to referrals.

I’m glad they left.

An hour later the people from Arlington Memorial came.

I went with them and asked them to do an autopsy.  No there was no foul play but I want to know the cause of death.

A few hours later the coroner came and showed me X-rays and result of the autopsy. My father died of collapsed lungs / emphysema.  His lungs exploded with nicotine from smoking at a very young age.

My dad is a voracious smoker and drinker.  Now I know why he drinks , he drowns his pain with alcohol.

My cousin Allan Michael Siapco was with me that time but told him to get some sleep so he left. I was alone for a couple of hours waiting for the funeral get ready.

52 hours of no sleep, I finally saw my dad in his coffin.  I burst into tears . I felt betrayed or sort coz he did not wait for me.  That’s what I said while crying over his coffin.

And then something weird happened. Tears fell down his cheeks.

I froze for a moment but not out of fear but of realization. Why am I being mad of him leaving when he is the one in pain for such a long time!

So I told him , “Ok Papa I’m not mad anymore.   Please keep watch over me, mom and my daughter from above We will miss you so much.  But I am happy for you will feel no more pain. I’m not mad Papa, rest in peace.”

Then he smiled.  He has the most peaceful , handsome ,  resting face I have seen.

My father is a handsome guy.  He is quiet when not drunk.  He likes to sing.  He loved my mother. He loved us his children and grandchildren.

He may not have been the perfect father or husband, he is my father.

We have great memories I will treasure forever.  He scares away guys who visit our house to court me.  He made me a chicken cake for my 12th birthday.  He taught me carpentry and gardening.  He is generous and shares whatever he can to us his loved ones.

When I got pregnant without getting married , that was our biggest squabble. He threw me out of the house.  But after seeing my daughter 6 months after birth, he embraced me and my daughter with open arms.

During the funeral service I heard stories from relatives and people he helped of the kind of good man he was. Some I don’t even know that I wish I knew.  I grew up afraid of my dad.  He always chase me with his belt or a 2×2 coz I was a mischievous and rebellious child and teen.

I am in tears as I write this. I sorely miss my father’s physical presence and I missed being as close to him as I could have been.  But that is all in the past.

Today, I am just happy to be raised by a father like him.  We had great memories and I have great realizations of the kind of man he is.   Loving, loyal, thoughtful and kind.

There are times I dream of my father.  Each dream about him is a message from him. That he is always watching over us.

But there is only one truth I learned, you will never ever get over a loss (death) of a loved one especially a parent.  The pain lingers and the void is irreplaceable.

I love you Papa, wherever you are. Please continue to watch over us.  I miss you sorely.

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