I miss my dad. A lot. Like, never a day goes by that I don’t think of him. Even taking selfies and uploading pictures of me on Facebook are reminders of him. Why? Because Facebook auto-tags my dad on my photos. My photos. My face. Mine.
Almost everyone I know of tells me that I am my dad’s carbon copy. We look so much alike that even Facebook got confused. How cool is that?
I miss my dad. His daily calls once he finished work at 1:00 AM, while walking from the BART station to the parking lot where he usually leaves his car. I could hear his breaths, the sound of a chewing mouth as he tries to multi-task eating and talking to me in the wee hours of his morning. There’s me, sitting all comfortable in my room at 4:00 PM. Time difference always sucked and being away from him (7,007 mi to be exact) meant adjustments for the both of us, whenever we wanted to talk about our daily lives.
I miss my dad. His reminders that I was his eldest child, and that I needed to step up for the responsibilities which await me. He taught me how to budget his bi-weekly remittance for the family’s expenses. He had done this for 26 years, living in a foreign land to seek greener pature for his family, and since I learned how to count and do my additions, I helped my parents figure out how to live on a tight budget. Daddy always made sure that he did his math right, and we would go over the list multiple times just to check whether there is an extra budget left for eating out every once in a while.
I miss my dad. The moment he decided that he would come home to the Philippines, I cannot forget the many plans we made – from travelling to shopping. After all, he deserves a huge break from work, after sending his three kids to schools and earning degrees… It was time for him to come home and spend time with us, his family.
I miss my dad. The never-ending hospital admissions the moment that he was diagnosed with Stage Dedifferentiated Liposarcoma, the numerous chemotherapy sessions that he bravely went through – he put a brave face on even though deep inside, I knew it scared him. His weight was similar to a yo-yo swinging up and down, back and forth. One after another surgery, a tumor would be present in his body again. He grew tired of the sickness but that did not stop him to live.
I miss my dad. A break from chemotherapy allowed him to visit me here in the US last 2016 to make sure everything is okay, that I am surviving. I even joked that little did I know, I was his protégé because now, I work abroad to help my family. It was a short but fun visit, and it is a memory I will truly keep closest to my heart.
I miss my dad. A near comatose and organ failures months after his visit completely downed his spirit, but still he tried to fight. Fighting for his life and crying out of sadness was a daily routine for him. The courage and the will to live were seen in his eyes – he wanted to live longer, because who dies at the age of 59? No one does…unless you have cancer.
I miss you dad. Your voice, your teachings, your being a father to me.
I miss you dad. Every single day. Good thing there is Facebook to remind me that all I need to do is upload a picture of myself, and there you make your presence felt.