Life, Personal, writing

A Tale of One Christmas Afternoon

While other people are in the comforts of their home, families, and friends on Christmas day, a woman gets out of the car at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. With a matchbox in one hand and a pot of flowers in another.

She asks her son to bring the pot of flower for her as it was heavy and she has no more strength to spare after two days of hard work.

Her son takes it from her as they start to walk the alley leading to her destination. She makes small talks with her children – commenting every now and then to some said stories.

Then, along the way, she meets Boy – the supposed caretaker of the place. Small talks, light laughter, again – side comments about the condition of the alleys every now and then.

Finally she reaches her destination and greets her husband – Hi Pa. Merry Christmas, she would say as she puts her hand on the cold concrete and lay down the matchbox beside the candles she brought.

She sits by the concrete bench a few feet beside his grave while her son puts down the pots and her daughter arrange the remaining bouquet on his flower holder – the suso  as they are called.

Candles are lit and silent prayers are said. Suddenly she says, dalawang Christmas ka na pala, Pa. Only to be corrected by her children that it’s three and not two – 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Her eyes began to water, lips forming in a thin line. He’s always watching you ma, her daughter tells her as she gets a pat on the shoulder.

Still, the wetness in her eyes never seemed to disappear until she stood up and said, let’s go.

She puts her hand one more time on top of his grave as she whisper Merry Christmas, Pa. I love you, before turning on her heel and walked.

While she walks, their children said their own Merry Christmas’ I love yous, and the promise of coming back in the New Year.

With one last glance on this visit, the three of them walked back to the car, a bittersweet recollection of years’ past Christmas celebration and the memory of the man they always thought as their own Superman.

And just like that, their Christmas celebration felt almost complete.

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Daily Post, Life, Personal

A Single Song & A Thousand Thoughts

via Discover Challenge: Song

A story of one night (2 years ago, July 2014)

We were watching a a TV show, The Voice Kids (Ph)– a singing contest aired at nights during the weekends when a particular contestant, Lyca Gairanod, stood in the middle of the ring and started singing Dance with my father in her Tagalog version

I felt body tense as I did not know how to feel about it when I had my father laying in bed beside me watch the same thing.

The song, at that moment, felt like a song for when he is gone and done fighting his battle against cancer. And somehow, it twisted something in my chest as I took a deep breath and exhaled nervously.

Nevertherless, I glanced beside me and saw him just mindlessly watching the show. Or if he is thinking of something else, I do not know. But my mother was another case. She was sobbing beside my father – silent tears streaming down her face. And her expression – God, how can such a strong woman break down silently like that. It broke my heart so much I, too, felt like crying. But I held it in and took another deep breath to steady myself.

Present.

It was a painful thing that night. Well, somehow it is still a painful thing today. But who knew that that same song, the original by Luther Vandross actually, will remain as a remembrance of the father we once have.

Who knew that that song will actually last me a lifetime of wistful thinking and prayers of another moment for my father and mother – just one moment that my mother can actually see him once again. To ease her loneliness, her sorrow, and see her smile that one smile she always has when she’s with him. God, how it still clenches my heart when I think about it.

And yet images and wistful thinking did not end with that wish and prayer for my mother as I, too, had my fair share of wistful thinking for myself and for my brother.

Nights when missing him is the only thing in my mind, I see him in the future I might have had if only he lived through his battle. Nights like tonight I imagine him watching me march as I finish off college and finally get that diploma he worked so hard to provide for, watch me get my first job, watch me finally reach my dream of going abroad, and even more so, watch as finally, my brother – his son, too gets on the stage and finish of college – that maybe, somehow, if fate had permitted, father and son had spent more time together.

My mother and father – they could have had grown old together and fulfilled their life long promises. So many dreams, so many promises.

And yet all we can have at this moment in time are those wistful thinking we had whenever that song plays.

That song, so beautiful yet still so heartbreaking simply because of all the unsaid promises and glimpses of the the future we could have had if he were still with us.

So, as we hear the song, whenever, wherever – there you’ll find us three looking up in the sky, on the road, or somewhere else with longing and distant looks in our eyes, faint smiles, and silent prayers in our head.

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Life, Personal

Fighting the Big C.

A First One

So this will the first ever blog that I’ll be posting for this site. I have actually written this way back in 2015. It is actually a personal journey and a first step I took towards healing my broken heart. So here it goes…

May 11, 2015

at the Beato first pav

Just today I had the inspiration to write a promised journal. And the story goes this way.

A year back, April 2014, my dear father came home from UAE for treatment – surgery actually to remove his tumor. No one knows his true condition, though. But as the surgery went by, it was confirmed to be a Colorectal Cancer in the advance stage – more commonly known as Colon Cancer Stage 4 and the battle seemed to last forever.

But of course it didn’t. 

Continue reading

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