Eulogy for My Dad
I’ve never been good with speeches as well as being in big crowds. A mixture of both would already be quite fatal for my bashful my nature. But given the occasion, it only seems right that I stand up before you – regardless of how my hands are shaking, lips quivering, legs trembling, and voice cracking – to share my thoughts with you. So please bear with me if I stray from a thought or two, elaborate myself too much and want me to stop altogether. J
The past few days (and nights) have been a whirlwind of emotionally charged events – akin to one long hazy dream that I have yet to awaken. But I’m not here to talk about myself. Rather, I’m here to talk about my dad – how I knew him, how I’ve come to view him, and all the little and big things I’ll always remember about him. Sounds easy enough. But over the course of his wake, I have been making scratches on my mental draft on what I’ve wanted to say.
As his only daughter, the bond I share with my daddy is very special. During my childhood, I vaguely remember him carrying me around – when I ate something I didn’t like – trying to ease my discomfort. That was then I realized that regardless of what’s the taste of life, I will always have him to rely on to comfort me. I’ll tell you a little secret about my father. He was a magician! He had magic hands! When I was sick with fever and he was out to play with his band, he placed his hands on my forehead and put something beside me (a bottle) when he got home which cured my fever the next day. There was even one time he conjured up just like a real magician the biscuit I was craving to eat. Up until now I never knew how he did that. There are two things he did that always made me laugh. First was when he takes off his false teeth (after my constant prodding) and smile showing off his gums; second was his story of his childhood when he and his siblings were watching movies with their mom eating pansit during intermissions and bawling himself out in the comfort room thinking he was locked in because he thought the doorway out was to push instead of pulling the door. Cracks me up every time.
Always looking at the glass half full. Like the time when Erap became president and I commented on it, though he was against him Dad said: “Perhaps he could do something else for the country”. At one time I asked him why some people change their religion, a lesson he told me was: “It doesn’t matter. If that is the faith where that person has found his personal relationship with the Lord.” The depth of his insight and optimism surprises me. Something that is worth learning from.
We had our share of arguments and misunderstandings mainly because of my youthful impetus and mostly due to his stubborn nature, but we’ve always ironed things out. I will always remember his pride when I became an officer in PMT during HS, when I learned how to play the guitar (on my own!), impressing him with my psychobabble, and landing a job close to home among other things. Although he didn’t say it, he supported my basketball playing regardless if I was the only female player in our department’s team.
I thought I knew my dad well. But the past few days proved that there is always something new to discover in a person regardless of how long you’ve known him. In school we were taught that Man is a social being. Daddy would be an epitome of that statement. A true artist in its fullest form, a well-rounded musician with the most blessed talent in playing one instrument to another with a voice that reverberates strength and depth. His talent would rival the likes of those great composers seeking perfection in honing the craft of those who he was always teaching. His presence is always noticeable. A truly sociable person by nature, I doubt that there is a place he goes to without having someone to greet him along the way. A celebrity… so to speak.
Dad had a great passion in living and the good life. Always sharing how great the food was in this place, how nice the ambience was in another, and etc. However short, Dad enjoyed his “senior years”, hopping from one movie theater to another especially on Tuesdays, proudly showing off his senior citizen’s card in purchasing food and treating me and my mom out for dinner (me ending up footing the bill though). The words “Carpe Diem” (Seize the day) was his motto in life. During his last days, he lived his life the way he always had. Seeing me off to work, playing his favorite game – Bingo, being sweet and appreciative, always lightening up a serious situation with his signature Mario quotes, and always considering everybody’s welfare.
Dad always had great faith in his friends and the ties that bind them. Though I was quite skeptical about it, the past few days proved me wrong. With that, I am truly grateful for all of those who have come and shared their time and support to our family. Just like a rockstar in his final performance concert, his friends from all his “fan groups” were well-represented – BCBP, Neo Cathechumenal Way, Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish Obrero, ADDU, URC, CMF, Cursillo, neighbors, old and new friends, his officemates in VP, his Bingo classmates, his first and his last band.
To my friends, our dad – your ninong, your tito – was someone who I could always talk to about our barkada and strong friendship. He understood about great friendship as one of the great things I will truly treasure.
To my brothers and relatives, he was always proud of you and thinking of you. Dad would share stories like how Kuya Jomari was really good in detecting counterfeit money; how Kuya Marco was well-thought off by his boss; how smart Doniel was; how “makulit” but sweet and charming Gelai and Yanna was and how fast they seem to grow before his eyes.
And to my mom, he was always constantly worried when you get ill. Not because he was the one who was going to buy the medicine, but more so of the fact that he couldn’t do anything to alleviate your pain.
There were so many things he still wanted to do for himself and for his family. But God had other plans. We can’t argue with that. I’m not good with saying goodbyes and there’s a huge lump on my throat that’s already forming but as the scripture says: “Do not let trouble upset your hearts. Continue having faith in God and have faith in Me. There are many rooms in the house of My Father; if it were not so, I should have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you, I shall come back to take you with me, so that you to may be where I am. You know the way that leads to where I am.”
Typical of my dad to be always first in a lot of things.
Dad, I know you’re in a better place right now. And though I will miss you so much, I know that you are with the Lord. Don’t worry about me and mommy, we’ll be okay. I love you.