They say parents will never be infallible. They will have to fall short on some things. They may always want to give their children the best of all things but they cannot. But you Papa did try to do just that. I was six , and you would travel from Manila to Pangasinan every Sunday so you would be able to give me lessons on riding a bike. There would be rides in the town plaza and you would make sure I would get to ride on the “tsubibo” (ferris wheel) and the “pusit-pusit” (octopus ride). You bought me dolls and puzzles and yoyos, and water guns and I gave you hugs and kisses in return. You would buy me burger on the afternoon and cook arrozcaldo for me for breakfast though Mama kept on telling you not to. Mama’s just afraid such gestures would spoil me but you said, those were gestures of love which I just deserved to have.
They say parents do not have the knowledge on all things, that contrary to the most popular notions, parents really do not know the best for their children, but still insist on helping their children have the best and the least painful experiences. That is why you Papa were there when I could barely fight for myself; I was only six-month old, and I was sick, needles were thrust into my scalp so my little yet strong hands won’t pluck them out. You would stay up the whole night and watch me sleep and shun away mosquitoes wanting to land on my skin and take a sip of my precious blood. I would keep on crying and though you know it wasn’t the doctors’ or the nurses’ faults, you would still yell at them and fight for me.
They say parents should sometimes have to discipline their children with a rod, to reasonably punish them when they have done something wrong, and Papa, though you really didn’t want to do it, you did for my own sake. I was eight and I hit one of my playmates with my slipper and she got hurt and you knew I have to realize the consequences of my actions. You called me and hit me with the same slipper I used to hurt my playmate. I cried but you did not hold back. But I heard it in your voice and in your eyes, you were hurt more than I was.
They say parents are the happiest when their children managed to make the most out of their lives, out of the rare chances they were given and despite dire circumstances, survived and became successful. Maybe that was why you were smiling when you went up the stage with me to receive my gold medal when I was six; while you were watching Mama as she accompanied me to receive my award as an honor pupil when I was 12; when I handed you my diploma, when I was 20 and was proclaimed a certified UP graduate. You thought that all of your efforts to give me a better future had already paid off.
They say parents really do not want to see their children suffering, or feeling sad or worried or bothered for shallow causes.Was that your reason for not telling Mama and me that you had not been feeling well for such a long time now, that you felt sick and weak, that you weren’t getting enough sleep?
I was 23, I already have a job and was about to show you that somehow, I managed to achieve my dreams; I was about to pay you back for everything you had done for me, but you got sick and though you did not want us to be bothered and worried, we terribly were. You had undergone one major surgery. You spent seven hours inside the operation room and we spent seven hours praying and sobbing, asking that One up there to give us one more chance to see you smile or get angry at us, hear your rants, your dreams.
They say that the least thing parents would want to do is to leave the people they love. Their prime concern is to provide their family with their needs, selfless and unconditional love. But you Papa, you left me, you left Mama. You left us without even saying or kissing us goodbye. We were in the hospital fighting for your life. On our fourth night, you told us to sleep for a while. We did not sleep the last night, you said Mama and I need to take some rest. We wanted to stay awake but just as how a famous line goes “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak,” we fell asleep and you left us as quietly as you can. And no matter how raucously I yelled at you or at the doctors or at the nurses, you Papa, didn’t open your eyes. You stopped breathing the moment I hugged you. And I will never forgive you for that Papa. Never.
I will be earning my MA when I’m 25 and you won’t be there to hear the good news or to see me reap the good produce of the efforts I have exerted. I will be working as a regular employee in the institution I am currently a part of when I’m 26 and you won’t be there to congratulate me. I will be meeting the right man when I turn 26 and will be getting married a year after but you won’t be there to see and accompany me as I walk down the aisle, you won’t be there to tell that man “Please take care of my daughter” with your teary but jovial eyes. I will be giving birth to my first child when I’m 28 and you won’t be there to kiss your first grandson, you won’t be there to see me teach him the same values you have inculcated in me. For you Papa left Mama and me when we weren’t yet ready.
And you will never comprehend the pain you have caused us both. I will never forgive you Papa for making me feel like this and for making me say all these things. I will never forgive you the way I will never forgive death for taking away the best man I ever met. I will never forgive you just as how I will never forgive myself for not being able to forgive the only man I loved and admired the most.