Memories of daddy...
… my sister and I perched on his shoulder as he read us the comics strip of the Manila Bulletin. Sometimes he would also read us fairy tales or bible stories. We got our love of reading from such an early introduction.
… I’m wearing orange-colored life vests and daddy, who was in the sea, was coaxing me to dive from the side of a lantsa. I was dead scared of the deep water but he assured me that he was going to catch me. After several attempts I closed my eyes and plunged into the water.
… I’m outside the bedroom, ears on the door. Inside, Daddy was supposedly praying in front of the Sto Nino so my sister and I could have Hi-ro cookies. When Daddy opened the door, he would tell us that Sto Nino had hidden our heaven-sent cookies in some nooks of the room. My sister and I would rummage throughout and we’d find cookies in the hamper or the closet or the bookshelves.
… before bedtime, he would tell us for the hundredth time the story of how he met my mom in the town fiesta. How that night he danced with my mom in the bayle.
… I walked on his back to give him a massage. Or sometimes I gave him a head massage when he arrived from work.
Nearly three years ago, my daddy suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed. It’s harrowing to see him devastated, not just physically but psychologically as well. Little by little he has regained some of his mobility. Lately I heard he could make out of town trips already or attend meetings of the Masons.
I do miss my dad. Sometimes I wish I could just go home and take care of him. But it has been agreed that I would be of more help to my family if I work here. And naturally, my father would not allow us to stall our lives for him.
Today, my daddy turns 67.
TO DADDY, I LOVE YOU.***