FATHER’S Day this year was a threesome affair in my family, with just me and my mom and dad in a simple celebration last Sunday. With four fully grown kids, I was the only one with them on that special day. And while my heart is full, I know my parents' aren't, and most especially my dad's.
In a restaurant where we had dinner, we sat on a six-seater dining table, but only three were occupied.
Having turned to agriculture as their source of income, my mother Josie and my father Lolong live in the same farm that they tend to. Their day begins at daybreak. Pigs, chickens, ducks, and dogs have to be attended to, not to mention trees and plants.
They do all the work themselves for now. While the manual labor keeps their time occupied, I know it does not ease the loneliness with every passing day that they realize they are not getting any younger.
The silence can be loud in a huge house with all bedrooms unoccupied except for their own. I suspect that was the reason my dad likes to leave the television on with the sound blaring, even if no one's watching. Perhaps there was a silence that he wanted to fill.
I'm writing with the hopes that my words can somehow be the sign that you are searching for or the wakeup call that you need. Everyone: sons and daughters, estranged or otherwise. Please come home. Your parents miss and need you, even if they don't say it.
There is a saying, "The greatest gift that parents can give to their children are roots and wings to fly." But amid conquering heights, don't forget to fly back home to the people who sacrificed their own wings to give it to you. Open your heart and let love fill it.
If you missed Father's Day last Sunday, it's not yet too late to recreate it. Were you searching for a sign? Maybe this is it. Go ahead. Make that call. If you don't know what to say, you can always start with "Thank you, Dad" because gratitude is a language that all hearts speak.
Andrea Isabelle Mejos is a writer from Davao. She likes to seek beauty from all angles - people, products, places - and writes them down.