Thursday, April 28, 2011

getting back in the groove, and getting back at bottom-feeders

death is a strange thing. for those who are directly affected, life suddenly stops. meetings cancelled, deadlines extended, occasions forgotten.

but really, life goes on. it is the height of arrogance to presume that the world will stop turning because your little world has stopped. and yet you find yourself resenting the fact that things move on, that friends go to parties, eat out, have fun. no amount of logic will dissuade you from feeling cheated, abandoned, and well, left behind.

the world kept turning when daddy died. court hearings continued, pleadings got filed, meetings proceeded as scheduled. i tried to work at the funeral home but still, it was just half my brain working.

today is the first time that i went to the office since daddy died. try as i may to focus, i find my mind straying, and as i am wont to do when my mind strays, i write. it helps me retain my focus.

so here i am, trying to get back in the saddle, so to speak.


Friday, April 22, 2011

the round table

it's good friday. as with all good fridays before this, there was fasting and abstinence. but unlike the previous good fridays, daddy's not here.

it's been 13 days since daddy left and i keep thinking he's just there, inside the room watching tv. it's just that he doesn't want to go out of the room. i keep expecting him to roll in on his scooter and join us for breakfast. or lunch. or dinner.

the other day we had a despedida for my sister jean. it was the first gathering at home since daddy died. his brothers were there, and his sister, with all the kids in tow. i felt such a pang when the stories began.

the center of our home is the round table. i think i've mentioned this before. we would gather around this magnificent round table which seemed to expand and shrink to accommodate the number of people sitting around it. this is where the big decisions are made. this is where we have long long conversations that begin with one meal, and end with the next. this is where we decide to not go to the next class, or not go back to work. this is where we have our best laughs, and the best food.

so last wednesday the brothers and the sister were gathered around the table and i kept expecting daddy to intrude upon the conversation and correct his siblings. i waited for his voice to cut in, full of laughter and derision sometimes. i waited, and i waited.

of course i knew it would not happen. but hearts are neither logical nor reasonable, mine particularly. my heart waited and i was so sure that if i listened earnestly and long enough i was almost certain i'd hear daddy's voice.

the round table is not the same without him.

dear dear daddy. daddy who left on his own terms. he picked the time to leave. he made sure mommy would not be alone, because after all, his brother and his sister in law were in the next suite. he made sure everyone was asleep. he had his favorite ice cream before he left. his last private duty nurse was already off duty. it was a holiday. of course he had to pick a holiday. 

hay. my darling daddy. i know you're just there somewhere, listening in on the conversations we are having about you. now i have no secrets from you. patay! sigh. for as long as you don't tell mommy. :)

goodnight daddy. we miss you at the round table.

Monday, April 18, 2011

a eulogy for my daddy

this morning i woke up to a text message from mommy. it said
"Dad must have wished his youngest little girl were a boy! Why, you proved to be the strongest n had the most resilient disposition during all the remaining last few days of your Dad n even after he breathed his last. Thanks, my dear Tina. you re swell n Del n I are mighty proud of you! God love you n keep you in his loving care!"

the tears came, but not the torrent i expected, or needed.

daddy died on april 9, 2011, at 530 in the morning. i was there, with mommy and two of my sisters, when they stopped reviving daddy. i stared in disbelief as the most important man in my life died.

a few weeks ago my dad was in the hospital at the coronary care unit. it was my first time to see him like that. thin, with tubes in his mouth and nose, and several IVs. he was unconscious and i remember thinking he needed a hair cut. my mom and i set up a vigil in the hospital, only going home to bathe. we slept in the hospital and took turns looking in on daddy.