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.


  1. lanibi10:22 PM

    hay galis cristina. so hard not to cry. I've been pretending dad's on vacation or is being ornery and wants to keep to himself in their room. let's just say we are still in denial but how else can we go on without breaking down?

    I still have those moments when, out of habit I'd think " ano kaya gustong snack ni ma at dad?, hopia? bibingka? siopao?...

  2. lanibi10:33 PM

    mongo? asado? bola bola? o yung assorted na maliliit?

  3. assorted na maliliit

  4. Hey, Tinabee. Just wanted to express my deepest condolences once again. You and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

    P.S. You may want to read "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion.

  5. thanks gracie. i really really appreciate it. :)

    i will look it up soon. i hope you are well.