image by fine art america
I really appreciate all of you my blogger friends for all your prayers and affection to what I and my family are individually and collectively going through right now. Certainly all your prayers and kind messages to me are sources of strengths in this time of trial. Today, permit me not to talk about politics or news or blogging for a while.
Yesterday, my father was already discharged from the hospital and is now resting and recuperating in our house in the province.
My mother told me that he is always in great pain. He cannot move that much and every little action
entails an agonizing pain for my father and a sad and helpless view for my siblings. He is into liquid
diet something that he really resents. The doctor put on bandages over his chest down to his abdomen to
let the fractured ribs and his wounded lungs heal. Everytime he coughs, he is spitting blood. Being away
from his side working here in Cavite, I just cannot imagine the pain he is going through and the
emotional burden my mother has to carry on her wearied shoulders, as if the long years she was with him
was not yet enough.
This is the first time in my life that I saw my father so helpless, cringing in pain and shedding precious of his rare tears. This is the father that I have not come to grow with. I don’t know if he is crying solely because of the physical pain that is punishing him or also because of the heavy emotional burden of being so helpless in this circumstance. But I would try to believe it to be both.
My name Gerson actually was derived from his name Generoso (like the name of the cheap brandy on sari-sari stores that keeps him company on many depressing occasions). I grew up angry at him, something that I was not proud of. I was angry at him for so many reasons, reasons that a son won’t usually be proud to share to his buddies and to total strangers.
I could say that he never shed much sweat and blood to toil for our family’s needs and welfare. He only stays at home, do some household chores, watch his select favorite TV shows and go to bed early. That is his routine. Being an eldest son that I am, who grew up in poverty but reared by my mother with a spartan spirit, I resented having a father like him. My young mind and tender heart looked for a father that I could be proud; a father who is a stellar model of industry that I could put side-by-side with my buddies’ hardworking dads.
But he was not one of them; he was not like them.
He is so distant, something that a son could only see, but could not touch and reach nor embrace like the clouds and stars we dream of reaching. I haven’t heard from him asking me how I was doing, how was school, or was I hurt or am I happy? Maybe all fathers are like that, I used to reason out, something to justify what I have.
I could only count on my fingers on a single hand the times he attended my countless recognitions and graduations to pin my medals. I could only count on my fingers the rare times he signed my report cards. He never visited me in the seminary or called me up on my phone to check how I was doing on my religious formation? Maybe all fathers are like that, I still used to reason out. But the bricks of anger were filling up up my young heart, soon to tower like a wall.
On all these times so difficult and hurting for me, the only person that has become my refuge was my mother. Her strength, wisdom and virtues of telling me to understand my father despite of everything for he was just a victim of his own historicity and more importantly for he is still my father no matter what, slowly toppled down the wall of anger that I was building out of sheer frustrations and resentment. My mother’s warm love and her strength all throughout the years of being there for us as a great mother and a father; nourisher and provider at the same time, softened my heart for my father. My mother was my security. If my mother loved and tried to understand my father for so many years without showing any stain of vice towards him, how can I not do the same?
My mother was a woman of great virtues; devout wife and mother. Call her a martyr, but for me she is a saint. Without her, I could have become the man that I hated; the man that is my nightmare.
I have slowly come to understand and love my father just the way that he is. It was not an easy road that I have taken, but I am just glad I did.
I can never forget the one instance he told me he loves me and how proud he is of me: when he was so drunk, and gave me 20 pesos as a gift. I was so surprised and so joked him that I wish he is always drunk.
He was an unwanted child. My grandmother being so preoccupied with her work, tried to abort him for a couple of times. But my father maybe just wanted to live, though was born premature. My auntie who sent me to school told me stories about my dear father that slowly opened my heart to embrace the man I once told myself that I would never wanted to become.
When he was still a child, he was so fickle, so sickly and shy. His IQ is below average and he is slow to pick up lessons on school. To this my grandmother hired a nanny and tutor for him. But to no avail. He once run away from school, went home full of tears and begging my aunt and my grandmother not to send him anymore to school for he really can’t comprehend everything.
My father maybe is just but a victim of circumstances. This is the father that I once hated but now so much loved.
Last Tuesday, he fell from the roof of hotel. He is working there together with some of my uncles. At the age of 53, he said that this would be his last hurray. He wanted to show to us his children that he can work to provide for his family’s needs; that we can be proud of him.
But the accident came.
Now I miss him. He may not change or become the affectionate father I once dream of having, I can surely become a father to my children the way I wanted a father to become to his children. I may not receive from him the things I wanted to feel, but I can surely give to my children the things I would have wanted to receive, for I truly know what children wants from their fathers; and maybe only then that I could truly feel satisfied.
I am proud of my father.