Today, I’m thankful for that one man to whom I owe my whole life to–my Papa.
My Papa wasn’t an ideal father. Our relationship wasn’t perfect at all. We had our own share of father-daughter spats.
There was an episode in me and my Papa’s lives when we didn’t really talk for almost a year. Blame it on both our sky rise prides. Before I accepted Christ in my life, I was a stubborn, self-absorbed, and rude daughter who used to not think twice before answering back to my parents whenever I think that my position is right. Papa even told my Lola back then that my tongue is like a sword because he always feel wounded whenever I answer back at him.
When Christ came into the picture, a different kind of change happened. Although I still argue with him but there was already that feeling of hurt, guilt and shame whenever I do that. After the arguments, when I’m already alone in the room, i would contemplate on what had happened and how rude a daughter I was to argue with him.
I didn’t want to have that kind of attitude towards Papa to go on forever and just stop when I can no longer apologize for those because he’s already gone. I didn’t want to be that kind of daughter anymore. Thus, I surrendered that ill attitude towards Papa to God.
Gradually and surprisingly, I was able to see the changes in the way we treat each other. There were times when I would feel really pissed of his unending ‘utos’ but those were the times when I was really able to see how God could really change your heart if you will just let Him. Slowly, the arguments lessened until such time that I no longer argued with him. When he was irritable, I will just let him and did as much as i could to do whatever her wanted me to do or asked me to.
I could still vividly remember those nights when i came home from the office and I would just lay beside him after I change clothes and we watched TV together. We no longer fought over GMA-7 and ABSCBN during those times. Instead, we settled on watching old funny movies of Vic Vargas, Eddie Garcia and even Janno Gibbs on PBO and we would laugh together at those movies even if we’d already watched it a number of times already.
I no longer complain whenever he would make a lot of ‘utos.’ I found myself just following him and I no longer say ‘teka lang’ or ‘mamaya na’ like I used to.
When Papa passed away in March of 2010, there was that unending pain that I couldn’t explain. Accepting his death wasn’t as hard at all because we’ve seen how he battled with his sickness and its complications. We’ve seen his struggles going ton the comfort room with only one foot and with the help of a crutch or whoever was the person near him that time because his left foot was amputated due to diabetes.
Papa fought with that illness for almost 13 years. In fact we felt that God was extending his life every time we cried out to him about Papa’s condition because there were a lot of incidents when he almost died because of too much complications. That 13 years extension of his life was more than enough for us to really serve him and take care of him and we’re really grateful to God for that extension.
When Papa died, there was pain but it wasn’t as heavy as I feared it to be. Maybe because I know that whatever strife we used to have back then, we had already forgiven each other. We were able to make up for the lost times and we were even more connected after that. There was that different kind of bond after the closure. I would wash his butt after he made poopoo and I would no longer feel irritated like I used to. There was that certain kind of satisfaction that any daughter happily serving her father feels.
The unending pain that I’m feeling because of his death is for that undeniable fact that my father would no longer be there in the next episodes of my life after his demise. He would no longer be there to witness the upcoming changes or celebrate with me in the future happenings of my life. He won’t be there anymore to walk with me in the aisle and give my hand to that man that God will bless me with. My future babies will no longer have a “lolo” to visit during weekends and they would just know him through the pictures and stories we will show and tell them.
This pain, I guess, will forever be in my heart, for I know that no matter how happy I’d be in a day, that could not discount the reality that when I go home, there will no longer be that Papa I used to lay beside with while watching old funny films. There will no longer be that man who always happily taunt me whenever he sees me trying on different outfits before leaving home and would jokingly remark “ang cute cute mo talaga! Walang tatalo sa ka-cute-an mo!”
He may not be the best father of all but I’m very thankful that God made him my father. I wouldn’t want any other dad aside from him. i wouldn’t be the pathfinder person that I am now if not for him. Papa was the most street smart person I know. My love for adventures and going to to try new places and different things were some of his legacies for me. I might not be able to appreciate and love walking if my Papa didn’t let us experience the joys and hardships of walking long miles when I was a kid. I wouldn’t have a clear image of God as a young child if not for Papa.The kind of faith I have now is a picture of the kind of faith I’ve seen in my father, that regardless of your religion, just as long as you have God in your life and you have a relationship with Him, that’s all that matters.