22 August 2009
August 10, 2009...
I cannot even begin to write about what happened on that day. Everything is still a blur. All I can think of is that, on that day, I lost the most important man in my life, the man who made me what I am and who I am, the only man that I ever truly loved-- my father. He succumbed to the Big C only four months after the lump he had on the left side of his buttock area was diagnosed as a malignant tumor. I just couldn't believe it. It was too soon.
I've always known friends and even cousins who have lost their fathers, and I did feel for them, but I just couldn't relate. I couldn't picture my life without my father. I was confident that my dad would grow old with us up until he's 98, that's what he always said as the age that he would be ready to go because by then everything would have been in order and we'd all have been stable. I never imagined, not even when he got sick, that he'd go thirty years too early.
The first time I found out that he had cancer, I got so depressed. I just couldn't imagine him suffering the way other cancer patients I knew suffered. I cried night after night, prayed day and night, even gained so much weight as I ate and ate like there's never tomorrow (I eat when I'm depressed), went back to smoking if only to keep calm. But, despite all this, I never entertained the thought that he would leave us. I was confident that, with his attitude and disposition, he would get well. I was sure that after three chemo-embolizations and one operation, he would be fine because the doctors would be able to remove the tumor and they were positive about it, too, because the cancer hadn't really spread to his other organs. He was scheduled to have his third chemo-embolization. It never happened. He never got to have that one operation.
He passed away between 1:30 and 2:00 in the afternoon that fateful Monday. I was at the office when I got the call from my devastated, but strong mother.
She simply said, "Anak, wala na ang daddy mo..." (Your dad is gone...)
I thought the world stopped. I couldn't breathe. I didn't know what to do or what to think. It was a moment that I will never, ever forget. But, ironically, I don't exactly remember most of what happened next. Next thing I knew, we were cleaning the house and people started to pour in. The week that followed was a complete blur to me. We were so busy with all the people who came. In the 7-day "wake" for my dad, thousands of people came. Even during the burial, a few hundred people came. Friends, relatives, family. That was how I came to realize how much my dad was loved and valued. Everyone only had good things to say about him. I felt so proud to be his daughter. And, at the end of everyday, I'd forget he was gone and I'd start looking for him among the throng of seated men and then I'd realize that we were actually gathered to commemorate his memories.
People kept telling us to be thankful because, at least, we were prepared in some way because he was sick. It wasn't like, they told us, he died all of a sudden or that he was killed by accident or something like that. God, I tell you, nothing can prepare you for a loved one's death! If only I could give him my life, I certainly would. If only we could buy his life or his health, we definitely would. We'd do anything for our loved ones and fight for them until the last efforts have been exhausted. We just cannot live with ourselves if we don't at least try, can we?
I also have a friend who, as a very young child, lost her dad. She kept telling me to be thankful that we had our dad for a longer time and we had shared a lot of memories with our dad compared to her and her dad. Yes, I understand that and I am indeed thankful for that, but that doesn't lessen the pain. Good memories I had with him will never make up for the fact that he is gone forever. Yes, I am thankful that I've had him in my life for 29 years and I have memories of him that will last me a lifetime. But, that doesn't change the fact that I will never see him again, never hear his voice or his laugh, never hug or kiss him again.
--Atty. Dagoroan "Dan" O. Macarambon
He wrote that on one of his books' cover page. And, true enough, the world is incomplete now that he's gone. Life will never be the same ever again. Nothing or nobody can ever fill that void he left. I never cried in front of the people around us, I never showed emotions but, deep inside, I was totally crushed. Nobody can ever imagine how I felt and how I am feeling right now, losing my father like that. Among all his children, I was the one closest to him. Although I have a younger sister, I've always been known as his baby. I wouldn't personally claim to be his favorite because I know that we were all his favorites, but people know me as a Papa's Girl or Daddy's Love. And, it totally tears me apart that I am no longer that and I can never be that.
His memories will live in my heart forever. I will miss him every single day. I will miss everything about him. Now that he's gone, I have to try to view it in the positive light as that's what he would've wanted, I'll just keep in mind that he lived a full life, he touched a lot of lives, he showed unequaled selflessness and generosity. Not a lot of people can say that for themselves. He was a great man. He was a real-life hero. He was an inspiration. And, in the end, he didn't suffer as much as I feared he would. More importantly, he is now in a place where there is no pain and suffering, only Peace. Inshaa-Allah.
Good night, Abi. I love you sooo much. *Kiss*
I am asking those who still have fathers, please hug your dads for me. That way, it'd be like I'm hugging my dad again. Salamat.