The Day My Father Cried

My father and I don’t really have a mushy relationship. We rarely say ‘I love you’, we don’t exchange hugs and kisses, we don’t sit on the porch and talk about life. In fact, I rarely call him when I’m abroad. But, we have this special connection that only a father and a daughter have. A connection that assures me how much my father loves me beyond words, beyond actions. I wasn’t home for two and a half years. I am constantly in touch with my mother but never with my father. During those times, I felt that it is okay because my father never tried to reach out with me anyway.

After two and a half years of not being home, I finally was blessed with a chance to go home to be with my family again. I had the best time of my life. I have been going back and forth to places that I missed when I was away. But, I never really had enough time with my dad. All I had with him were random conversations whenever I will see him eating alone in the kitchen or when I will ask him to buy me something like “gatas ng kalabaw” (Carabao’s milk) for example. I remember one morning when I craved for it and he searched everywhere for it or that time when I got home from Singapore and arrived at three in the morning and he was the only one who woke up to pick me from the bus terminal. I didn’t appreciate little things like those. At that moment, I failed to see the beauty of it. How my dad will go anywhere to give me what I want and how much he is willing to sacrifice for me. I wish I did.

Thirty days passed. It’s time for me to leave again.  We were in the airport putting off goodbye. But, time is the worst enemy. I put goodbye off until I can’t put it off anymore. It’s time to turn my back to the country that I love the most and worse, to my parents who dropped me off the airport. I held back tears. I told them to go ahead and to not wait ’til I get inside the airport. I gave them a hug. Each of them. I hugged them as tight as I could hoping that I’ll be glued to them and I won’t be able to let go. But, reality sets in. It’s time to chase some pavements once again even if it leads nowhere because that’s the only way to grow. I kissed and hugged them goodbye for the nth time. I never wanted to look at them but the moment i let go of the hug, I saw dad’s eyes filled with tears, his nose red and he’s avoiding my stare. I told them “Go. Take care. Love you.” I watched them until they disappear from my sight. Then I thought to myself “If it’s hard for me to leave, it is harder to for my parents to go back home without their princess.” My father and I may not have shared precious moments but still find it hard to let me go is just a representation of true love.

The day my father cried was the day I regained my strength and the day I realized what my battle is all about. It’s not really about winning. It’s about making those tears count. I know God is with me and he is victoriously fighting whenever I couldn’t fight for myself.

I love you, daddy! <3 I love all your imperfections. You will always be the first man that I love and no one can ever take your place. I haven’t achieved much in life but having a father like you, though not perfect, is enough reason to celebrate God’s love not just for me but for our family. We are truly blessed to be loved by you.

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By God’s grace, I was once again blessed with a chance to go home in December. I bet my vacation will be full of hugs, conversations and love. <3 May God be praised!

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