To The First Man I Ever Loved

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The world remains beautiful, but ours changed forever.

March 27, 2015

Dear Papa,

It's been a week since we lost you. What I thought would be a blessed day turned out to be our worst nightmare. On my 29th birthday, you bid goodbye to us without any warning. I still remember how Tita Dia told me as calmly as she could that you were being revived at the ICU. When I'm alone, I still vividly see how countless doctors and nurses tried to save you while your life support kept flashing numbers in green and red.. and then two flat lines. I see you when I close my eyes during that afternoon I looked at the lifeless you -- all bruised from your neck to your arms with blood on the tube stuck to your mouth.

Papa, we should've gone home that day. You were ready for discharge after a week at the hospital. We were supposed to go home and celebrate my birthday, but it was too late. Papa, I haven't opened my Bible in weeks. I could not question Him, though the questions scream in utter silence. Mama could not look at you at the ICU and she begged and begged Him for a miracle, even when 30 minutes had gone by. It was easy for us to ask Him for you to stay. Of course, we want you to stay. It was too painful to ask God to let His Will at that horrific time. But I still did the latter. I surrendered. I surrendered you. Who am I to bargain with Him your life for me, Ness, and Mama when you already devoted your life to us? Who am I to tell Him not to end your pain? Even if it meant not seeing you in the years to come, you being free of sickness would always be my choice.

Madaya ka Papa. You didn't tell us the truth. Had we known what really made you ill, Mama, Ness and I would've done something more to make your life normal again. We could've persuaded (demanded even) you to consult with a doctor earlier, moved you to another hospital, quit our jobs so we could help you with work.

Why did you give up Papa? We have lots of plans this year. You said you wanted to see Switzerland, Austria and New York. I remembered how Xoce and I broke the news to you that we're getting married and you responded beyond positive affirmation. Papa, we just booked a church today. It has a long aisle, but you will no longer be there to stand beside me and walk with me to the altar. Didn't you tell people you wanted a grandchild already? Why couldn't you wait and stay a little longer?

You're everywhere Papa. You've given so much of yourself by serving too many time and effort to other people, that you ignored your health. You didn't realize how it would affect me and Ness, and especially Mama when you're gone. Papa, my achievements are nothing compared to yours. You were given more than enough, but you never lived a lavish life. Instead, you had always lent a helping hand to those in need -- even if they took advantage of your kindness.

I never got to tell you how proud I am of you Papa. We never got hungry because of you. We never had to worry about losing our jobs because we know we can always depend on you. Even now that you're gone, we still don't have to worry about our basic needs in the years to come. Anybody in this world would feel lucky to have you as a father, a son, a brother, a husband.

Papa, the pain stings even when all we have left are memories.. especially memories. No amount of travels or busy days can cover up the void you left behind. Papa, it will take more than a lifetime in this world to forget you, and we don't know how long we'd suffer because you were called to leave this world for good.

I don't know when I'll see you again. 20, 30, 40 years from now, I have no idea. I long to see your face, your occasional temperaments, your big tummy, hear your jokes and the way you snore. It's beyond difficult Papa. I'm trying to be strong but the pain's just too much to bear.

Please remember me Papa, wherever you are. No one could ever replace you.

I love you Papa.. always.

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