We talked about you last Tuesday at McDo. I hope they didn’t notice but I had to hold back some tears. It felt pretty odd especially since it’s been almost 10 years since you had to go home to our Father up there. Even when it was just a few months or a few years since Dec 21, 2001, I never actually felt like crying when people asked about you until last Tuesday. I guess I was quick to accept that your mission here on Earth was already done.
Ah, but I remember looking at a family picture with you in it, hugging it, and crying whenever Mama and I had some quarrels during my adolescent years. I think it’s because of puberty though, so let’s not count that. You know, the whole “nobody understands me” drama. I’m sorta glad that you didn’t have to see me during that stage. You’d probably scold me all the time. Or not. Yeah, you probably won’t. You’ll most likely be the one I would run to and tell stupid stories to. I’d probably end up going to the rooftop every night to sleep in your room while you check papers or read books.
I now remember what almost made me cry last Tuesday. Tita Glo was telling her story about how you were slowly dying in the ICU. Thank God I never got to witness that ’cause I’m not sure if I can get over seeing you die. She was reminding me about how I never wanted to go home during your funeral. Looking back, I think it was more because my playmates were always there in the old church. But thinking about it, it was also probably because I was used to just knowing that you were around. Randomly, I remembered one thing that you always used to do during the first half of my first year in high school. You always wait for me by the stairs while reading the newspaper. I remember that whenever I’d go down the jeepney, I’ll see you across the street waiting. You know, I miss that. Mama’s really busy with heading the church so I usually have to either wake her up or see her with a raised eyebrow whenever I go home late. But, I understand that. I just sort of wish that you were still here so that Mama won’t have migraine every day and I’d feel safe seeing my emblem of security waiting every night.
I also remember how disappointed you were when I wasn’t in the top 10 during my first year in high school. I didn’t understand how an adult could have high expectations from an 11-year-old back then but I get it now. You knew that I had a lot more to offer. Thanks for pushing me to excel. Thank you, too, for saying “We love you too, anak” when I was having my valedictory speech when I graduated in grade school. I don’t say it much ’cause I’m not really cheesy when it comes to family stuff but I really liked that.
I never told you this but I got jealous when other people told me stories about you. I remember getting a little envious when Babeng told me a story before that you protected her from random boys who were trying to get acquainted with her during the summer youth camp. Yeah, I guess I was a little possessive with you, but I eventually learned to see the bright side: everyone found my dad cool. How awesome is that?
Do you remember that time when I told you that I had a crush on some guy? You told me not to like him ’cause he looked like a drug addict [which he apparently was]. I wish you can still tell me that now. I wish you can tell me to stop liking this boy ’cause he wasn’t good for me. I wish I could tell you about boys who broke my heart, too. I’m pretty sure you won’t scold me for liking them. You’d probably just comfort me and say that I deserve better.
Empot [nickname c/o you] is a big girl now. I enjoy hugging and playing with her. I hope she got to spend more time with you though. She’ll probably be a little less girly if you were around. I do try to spoil her sometimes just to make her feel what I felt when you were still alive. Oddly, I do not miss having all the material things you used to give me. What I miss is spending almost every free time that I have with you—eating @ McDo Sta. Lucia, drinking Zagu, playing pool with your friends, coaching basketball games, talking with the church boys late at night, taking me to piano lessons, or singing Westlife/Tom Jones songs. I also miss how just being in your embrace at night would make me feel secure, especially since I was a very matatakutin kid.
I’m already working for an multi-national IT company. Thanks for showing me stuff I can do in the computer, for teaching me how to type fast, and for giving me an edsamail account. I know that somehow, you influenced me to be where I am now career-wise. I’m thinking of going to Bible School/ATS, too. Thank God you’re not teaching there anymore! It would be quite awkward to have you as my prof ’cause I’m sure you’ll have higher standards for me.
By God’s grace, I’m doing great and still standing spiritually. Mama’s been of great help in making me grow as a Christian. Thanks for helping me accept Christ when I was 7 years old during a family devotion.
I shed a tear while typing this whole letter. I guess I just really miss having you around. But don’t worry, we’re doing great :) The whole church and the whole family has really been of great help in supporting us through provisions and prayers. I’ll do my best to help Mama out. I also promise to kiss Muning, Demdem and Potpot everyday for you.
I love you and I wish I told you that more often when you were still alive.