At around 11pm on January 8, 2016, Dad, after enduring constant chest pains, breathed his final labored breath. I can only describe that night to be unexpected as a few hours before 11pm, he was telling all of us that the day after, we’d still get to talk to him although he won’t be able to reply evidently because of the tube down his throat. Now that I think about it, after watching mom cry and hear her ask dad if he wanted to go already, he, at his last few hours alive, still remained courageous and managed to furrow his forehead at the thought of giving up. He didn’t want to be defeated. Not for us (and I mean all of us). Aside from the old woman who came up to me and said that the same thing happened to her husband a few days prior and yet, was still able to evade the unspeakable, dad fighting gave me hope. Sabi nga nila na masakit talagang umasa.
I’m not one to easily remember things. At some point in my life when I was younger, I used to forget my moms’ birthday. To my surprise, I can play that day from start to finish without missing a thing. I can even remember what snacks I bought at 7/11 before heading to the hospital. (two Side-Winder gummy worms and two Loaded chocolate packs)
For a year already, I’ve played that night over and over in my head. If you’ve seen me gaze into the distance, that was probably what was going through my mind. I didn’t do it to make myself feel melancholic. No. In between all the chaos and stress, there were quick moments, such as tight squeezes dad made us feel on our hands as if to say, “Stop crying” or a big nod which I know meant, “I love you guys, too”, that were comforting and would easily put a small smile on my face.
You may be gone, Dad, but you have Mom, your five awesomely talented kids, and everyone you’ve touched and helped to always make sure that your legacy and memory will forever live on. I miss you very much, and I love you even more.