June 29, 2013 § 3 Comments
This letter for you has been long overdue. Too many moments when I wanted to thank you have passed unmarked and unnoticed, like a wonderful landscape looked upon with awe yet in silence. I guess it has just been the way that although my relationship with Inay has always been verbally open, I have evolved a limited verbal relationship with you. While Inay has always needed to hear the things she wants to hear, you always seemed to understand what we wanted to say without us saying it. I hope you never thought that my seemingly callous attitude at times meant I loved you less.
I cannot go through all of the things that I want to thank you for. A lot of them I was probably not even aware yet when they happened, and still a lot of them has melted into the pot of wonderful memories that Gab and I will always have. But there are those vivid stories and memories that I would like to enumerate now, because this sentimental moment might not come again so easily. As more better said, “baka hindi na to maulit, so susulitin ko na”. hehe. I will try my best to do this chronologically.
Thank you first for sacrificing your career for taking care of me. Although I can always say I did not demand that from you, you did it out of a parent’s unconditional love for his child. When you could have pursued a great opportunity that I’m sure you would have excelled in, you selflessly set those aside so that you could take care of me and allow Inay to pursue her’s. But what’s even more unremarkable in that is you never blamed me or Inay. You never nursed regrets or frustrations, at least openly, and that virtue has taught me and Gab a great deal in what a true sacrifice is – one that is done with no expectations.
Thank you for being a great disciplinarian. When Gab and I recall our childhood memories, you were always the stern disciplinarian who ordered us into corporal punishment whereas we could always conveniently run away from Inay’s attempts to pinch us into discipline. The fear when Inay scolds us was next to nothing when you called us for deliberation. But what I will always remember is how you always came to our rescue when it was Inay who became unreasonably angry at us. Like the time I lost my gold earrings and Inay sent me out of the house at night to look for it. Or the times you looked for Gab when he storms out of the house in anger. You were a great disciplinarian because you knew when you needed to be stern, and when you needed to be soft. You knew when we needed to be spanked and when words were enough to remind us of our responsibilities. It is something that requires discernment and patience, traits that we hope we have imbibed.
Thank you for all your advices and words of wisdom. And it is here that I think I have never thanked you enough. Even if I usually accept them only in silence, sometimes reluctantly (and sometimes even grudgingly), I have and will always remember a great deal of them in crucial moments of my life. You taught us to be good even when others weren’t. You taught us to be humble even if it was embarrassing. You taught us to be responsible even when it was hard. You taught us to be loving even when it was tiring. You taught us to be generous even when we have little. You taught us to be hard-working even when it was unnecessary. You taught us, even when we were stubborn.
Thank you for your unconditional love for Inay. We all know how difficult it is to love women in general, and how even more difficult it is to love strong women like Inay. She is not only strong, but also persistent, stubborn, nagging, overly dramatic at times, hot-tempered, etc. (and I am somehow like her already…oh no! haha). But even when Gab and I usually lose our patience with Inay, you never do (or at least sparingly do). You have taught us to understand why Inay is like that and we have learned to love Inay almost as unconditionally as you do, as well. In effect, you have actually taught us to learn to love other difficult people by looking at their good side and forgiving their inadequacies. Thank you especially for taking care of Inay in her sickness. What you do every day for Inay – Gab and I don’t know where you get your energy anymore. All of our relatives and friends are at awe at how devoted and dedicated you are to Inay, and we are very proud of you as your children. I am sure Inay is even more at awe of you, although she may not always say it. Thank you for never abandoning us because although that is really the right thing to do, a lot of other fathers choose to do the wrong thing. In the same way, thank you for never abandoning Inay, even when the going has become very tough. Thank you for teaching us how to be a good partner in life to anyone. I will surely have high standards for my future husband, and that might lead to my never marrying as you always wish – God forbid. Please stop wishing I will be a nun or an old maid because I will try my best to disappoint you. -_-
Thank you for everything you do at home. I am sometimes ashamed at how much chores you do compared to all of us, but your energy is just something I cannot replicate (but this is probably because of my recently discovered anemia haha). You are always consistent in performing your tasks extraordinarily well – from securing the car seat covers to mopping the entire house. Thank you especially for teaching Gab and I the importance of doing house chores and being able to balance our studies with our responsibilities at home. When I think of all my academic achievements, I am proud of them not because of what they are, but because I know I was able to accomplish them while doing my best to fulfill my responsibilities at home as well. I used to fear that because you were so strict on us while growing up, I might become rebellious when I reach a certain age. But I can forget that fear now because I now understand how valuable the discipline you taught us was.
Thank you for forcing me to study how to play the piano. I used to loathe having to go to piano lessons (next to the Taekwondo lessons), especially when I would be sacrificing my free time for play or lunch to go to Mrs. Berenguer and spend an hour learning something I did not want then. I especially hated being forced to play every single reunion and being forced to practice every weekend when I could be playing computer games instead. Although playing the piano is clearly not an inherent talent in me, you forced me to play enough that it has become one of my distinct skills that I really owe to you and Inay. It is too late for me to regret why I didn’t love my piano lessons from the onset, but thank you for being patient with me in insisting that I always practice. Knowing how to play the piano is probably one of my few assets that I can be proud of (given that your genes have successfully denied me getting Inay’s beauty haha).
Thank you for giving us your trust when we were ready. Thank you for trusting me and Gab, now that we are grown-up, to make our own decisions and explore the world on our own. Thank you for allowing us to go out, travel, and learn new things. Thank you for letting us go, even if you’d rather that we stay at home all the time.
There are a lot of other things I am thankful for, such as always eating what I cook and sometimes giving in to my tantrums, and allowing me to kick your butt, and being overly proud of us. Thank you for always understanding and forgiving us. You and Inay have given us everything that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to repay you both for all of this. We love you very much and I really pray that you will always be the way you are because you give us the inspiration and strength we need as much as Inay does. Thank you for being the person that you are – happy in simplicity and compassionate without expectations. Please take care of yourself always because we won’t know what to do without you.
This is an excerpt from my really late father’s day letter for my dad. It’s the first emotional letter I wrote him and I haven’t even given it because I plan on giving it right before I leave – to escape the drama. :D Although my girl friends may know me as a showy and expressive person, I think I still have a limited capacity of being that way towards the opposite sex – especially to my dad and brother. :)) Funny how going away pushes you to finally do things you’ve always put off. Or more like, say the words that you need to say. Now I just have one last hard letter to make. :)