A Year After Goodbye
November 6, 2011
A year ago (on a Saturday), at 6:06PM, my father surrendered to liver cancer. The pain of the loss has long been turned into a dull thudding inside me that I could tune out at most times but somehow, in days like these, I still remember the last few moments I spent with him.
Feeling quite sentimental really…
Been typing and deleting words I could use to clearly express what’s going on in my mind, but my brain’s not cooperating. A large part of me wants to share the details of those final moments with him… but another part of me wants to keep it all inside. Maybe its because I’ve shared it before (with close friends) and then repeating it again a year after would make me seem like a broken record. I want to give a tribute to my dad but there’s so much to say and I don’t know where to start yet.
Anyway as planned for his 1st year death anniversary, we – me, my mom, a few of our neighbors, and my half-brothers and other relatives – were set to meet up for a short get-together prayer at my dad’s final resting place. And for the whole day I’ve been reminded of my dad. To name a few:
1. Disney’s The Game Plan
The movie was playing at a local channel and although I’ve seen it a couple of times already, I still enjoy watching it. Aside from the fact that regardless of my “young” age I’m slightly addicted to Disney, I remember watching it with my dad. A Daddy-Daughter movie that’s very heartwarming. I’m easily moved to tears when watching a feel good movie, so the waterworks really started with those cute and sweet moments Joe Kingman shared with his daughter Peyton.
God… I miss my dad.
2. Phrases running through my mind
“Kiss ko beh…”
I remember one of dad’s rare moments where he goes sweet on himself asking for me to kiss him. Dad was still able to drop me off to work (a day before we rushed him to the hospital). He came back later in the morning to get his LOA for his check-up (along with my half-brother and aunt) when he asked for his kiss. In retrospect, a surprising request. Dad didn’t get to have himself checked-up that day anymore.
“Surrender na ko… (I surrender)”
November 5, 2010
The day we rushed him to the hospital. Mom didn’t come along at first. It was just me and my half-brother then my other half-brother came along. I still remember the nurse inquiring if whether all four of us were siblings. I guess my dad looked young for them and he was already 63 that time! A welcome comment to distract me from the severity of the situation. I kept thinking “Not again… it’s been less than a year from his ExLap surgery…” plus the fears of a few months ago (refer here). So when the doctor arrived, I was on the edge. And rightfully so! I didn’t know what to expect. So when the doctor said my dad had Liver Cancer and we were just counting the days until he’ll be leaving us, maintaining my composure and keeping my tears at bay was the least of my problems… breaking the news was.
So when my dad jokingly told me “Kapoy na man. Unsa man, surrender na ko? (I’m tired already. So, should I surrender?” It took every amount of my strength to keep me from bursting to tears. He asked me the same thing again, once we were settled on a room. He already knew something was wrong since my response was a sober one. God! Feeling chest pangs…
I never got to talk to him after. When I got him settled with my mom and half-brother looking after him, I reported for work to finish a few stuff. Then when I got back, Dad was at the ICU with a tube stuck on his mouth to aid his breathing.
He was slowly distancing himself from us during his last two weeks. I guess he wanted to show us a strong front and that nothing was wrong. As for me, after receiving the breaking news, accepting it was a process.
November 6, 2010
“Ma’am, if he comes to a point for cardiac arrest, will we be reviving him?”
“So soon? He just got admitted last night!”
Keeping the tears at bay while at the ICU was physically draining and emotionally painful. Since Mom appointed me to make the big decisions, signing of waivers and be the receiver of the doctors’ news, putting up a brave front was the only way to go.
“He might be going today”
The doctor – a close friend of my dad – broke the news. There was no chorus of crying from our party. But there was no dry pair of eyes surrounding my dad’s hospital bed. After the final blessings for the dying, I had to push back the tears and pain I was feeling and be strong for my mom.
Do you know how painful it is holding a bedside vigil? Monitoring the last rise and fall of blood pressure, the slow intake of breath, the last pulse and heartbeat, waiting for the medicines to wear off, grown up guys crying saying sorry to a father who they believe abandoned them, a doctor crying for a loss of a friend, listening to whispered messages and prayers…
I think I need to stop now. I’m sure you get the picture.
3. The Missing Death Certificate
Dad’s DC has been missing for quite sometime now and scavenger hunting for it at home has been more than tedious. Now, it suddenly turns up hidden with a few of my stuff in my room. I don’t know if it’s because my room has been in disarray or something else.
So that’s it. For now.
I still miss my dad. I miss our bonding moments together. He always made it a point to introduce me and talk about my relatives on his side of the family tree. I still feel uneasy with the exposure I get with my father’s side of the family. Eventually, I’ll be more open and comfortable when I’m with them.
Share your thoughts? Would love to hear from you. I’ve posted about my dad and his passing here: