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Davao
Thursday, September 16, 2021
DAVAO

Dad’s biggest secret

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MY DAD passed away four years ago and that hurts much. Others may not know this but I would like to just forget every time I start to remember my father. Not because I do not want to remember a single memory about him, but because I feel that I have not expressed so much how I loved him.

People may say everything is too late. I cannot blame them because they may see me as very distant from Dad when he was still alive. I asked myself many times, why have I not told him I care about him so much? Why did I fail to hold his frail hands when I still remember strongly wishing to be cuddled like a baby?

I admitted even before that I have grown up fearing dad – his eyes, his voice, and even the sound of his steps. And maybe that is why although I am in pain – I was indifferent when he passed away. But I felt sad that he left me when I was ready to sit beside him. I am dismayed that it was too late for me to decide to spend more time with him.

Oh God, Dad was so near, but we are like so far. His way of showing he cares silently becomes the ultimate boundary between us. And that living life and discerning what is right and wrong were learned through written instructions from Dad, which is not usual for a father and daughter. And at few times I can see Dad's genuine emotions only when he was drunk. Maybe that is why I also tell dad, "I love you" through letters because I thought it's the best way to express love.

I regret it because I was wrong. I thought Dad would not want to make memories with me. But lately, I had the strength to open his sealed briefcase. I was surprised that it was full of pictures of us and his kids even when we were babies. The birthday cards I inserted into his cabinet secretly every year were complete. I even found one 39 years ago. And our diplomas from elementary until College were there, and the report cards I thought had never been viewed. Oh, dad has valued our memories secretly.

I am so sorry, Dad, because I was preoccupied with my unfair thoughts about you. I have convinced myself, you loved me less. And so, I busy myself making sure to be a valuable person in the society where you will be proud of me. In my mind, I thought it would be the only way you could love me.

Now I have fully realized you have loved me much; I just did not notice and appreciated your language of love. And I guess forever that will be my greatest regret. Forgive me, dad. But I have loved and valued you too secretly. It is just that we, too, have the same language of love.

Dad, thank you for visiting me in my dreams, I see your face, but you remain silent. Ahh, your great love for me is your biggest secret. But you do not need to tell me you loved me, Dad, because I now knew you did.


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