If you are a father, you have one of the most respected and demanding titles ever given to a man. It's not always easy to be a father; there are certainly moments of struggle. But hearing the word "Tatay", "Papa", "Dad" or whatever it is makes the entire journey blessed and wonderful.It would even leave a smile on your face because hearing these words is music to every father's ears.
But let's face it. We tend to overlook dads. Sure, those who can afford buy them a requisite tie on Father's Day or birthday. But by and large, fathers are down a few links on the family or friends or love-ones chain. First come mothers. Mothers whom we always seek for help, whom we shared our school experiences, new found friends, assignments, achievements, secrets and heartbreaks. Every laughter and tears of your life. After all, for our generation, fathers are generally the ones who meted out discipline and justice. We tend not to have warm, fuzzy feelings about the person who is about to punish us. When was the last time you mouth the words "I love you Dad?". Its always, Mom, I love you! Have you ever seen a guy having a tattoo spelled out F-A-T-H-E-R? Not likely.
*This picture was taken last January 2, during my father's 50th birthday. In the picture is my father, myself and my youngest sister.
That is the reason why I am giving this special space in my blog for the unsung hero of my life, my father, Mr. Dario Cayetano, my SUPER ONE.
At my very young age, I was thought how challenging life is. I was not born with all the wellness in life. My father was a former factory-turned-construction-worker. Even if I am not that fortunate, my father taught me how to be patient and strong to cope with what life has to offer. He was able to send me for a higher education, something he wasn't experience, an opportunity he never had. My father is a talented man who can sketch artistically. The one who often do all my drawings and lettering assignments and projects. In the kitchen, he is the master chef. He cooks better than my mother, especially when he prepares his specialty, my favorite "pinakbet". He also loves music as I do, something which I think I get from him. He is a man full of laughter and humors.
But life is not always like a blue sky with colorful rainbow in it. I never thought about the time I would have to step into my own father's shoes. He was always there to fill them. Then suddenly, he wasn't. And now I have had to step into them. I didn't feel prepared for the role, but I have to. Now I clearly understand how it is to be the father. What it takes to be the head of the family. It is all about self-sacrifice. Sacrifice for the people you value and love the most.
My father was diagnosed with liver cancer last year. And from then on, I can see how his health is rapidly declining. I feel guilty for not sending him to the best doctors for more check-ups and tests, for we do not know where to get the money to sustain his medication. Until the time came, where he, himself refused to continue his check-ups. He surrendered, he was losing hope. It is hard to pretend your OK while seeing the one you love aching. My heart not just feel broken but crushed. I cant help but cry most of the time. Right now, our faith is our only refuge. I'm still holding on to it for I know it is the strongest. Every second of each day is important. I try as much as possible to provide all my father's wish and needs, as long as I can. If I can't, there's no reason for me to give up and stop.
And if there is one thing I would tell the Lord, its for my father's fast recovery. If a miracle is too much to ask, then please let him extend his stay with us. Give us enough time to show how much we care for him. Allow us to fill all the emptiness and give him all the love that we taken for granted, things that we never much showed. Please give us enough confidence and faith to do it. Let us be his hand to hold when he's losing hope.
Last Father's Day, I sent my Nanay a message for my "Daduds", as how I call my father. The message still remains in my phone's Sent Item. I don't know why I haven't deleted it, maybe it is there for a reason. The message goes like this...
Nay, good morning,
pksbe kay DADUDS,
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY.
I LOVE YOU! Ingat kau lagi...
Sometimes my father listened without expression. There was no sentimentality or emotion, just frank acceptance of the inevitable, something I would say the character I inherit to him.
Daduds,(as i call him) I don't know how to say this to you personally. But I know someday, at the right time I will have the confidence to tell you this...
I am grateful to have been raised by a man who is so kindly predisposed to the wacky and the unexpected. You are a testament to the great values of kindness, hardwork and taking care of us. I will never forget the image of you among the crowd as I go up the stage to receive my awards in school, my first day in high school where you accompanied me in my first classroom, the happy moments we've shared near the lake and fishing, those days that we need to go up the mountain to get some guavas which I will sell in the school to have "baon", the times you took care of me when I was suffering from bronco pneumonia and holding my dextrose patiently as I play around when I was a kid. Thank you for encouraging me without being cloying and as a result, I felt supported but never pushed. Thank you Tay, for taking me in a real life adventure, where I learned the greatest lessons and experienced a different kind of excitement and fun.
I'm so sorry for the moment that we had a bad conversation a few years ago. We both had the point to fight for and I kept insisting my own. I was trying to be deaf yet still hearing how our voice both raised. In the end I realized, its me you are protecting. We were both in tears and couldn't speak anymore. That was the first time i ever see you crying. And there is no way to test a man's pain than too see tears welling from your eyes. I know saying I was sorry just didn't feel like enough. I'm sorry because it is too late for me to understand all of those. I'm sorry. I love you...
I guess the hardest part of one's life is seeing the most important to you suffering, yet you cannot do anything. Right now, my father is struggling to recover. I don't know how long we are going to stay together, but one thing is for sure, everyday, all the best that I can do is dedicated for him. His happiness is the main priority of my existence. Without his best guidance and inspirations to me, I would not be where I am now. I ought him every steps in the ladder of success and the achievements that I have.
Someday, even if we do not have tons of picture together to reminisce, I would ask the Lord to retain my memories of you, so that I can play back certain scenes in my head, moments that define you as my father and by extension, me.
Even if I am away from our family, even if I am having trouble hearing your voice in my head the way I used to, even if your voice is getting fainter as time goes on, maybe this blog will keep the memories alive and is a way to keep his voice loud and clear. I want to pump up the volume more.
We lost all our pictures when our country was hit by the strong typhoon Rosing last 1995. So I tried so hard making a simple drawing of me and my father.
Thank you GLOBE for letting me share my wonderful story about my Super One.This blog entry may somehow help to immortalize how great and wonderful my father is.
What about you?
Who is your Super One and Why? Share yours now.