Tuesday, April 09, 2013

araw ng kagitingan

in english it means day of valor. today the filipinos celebrate the courage and perseverance of the veterans who fought in the war.

while everybody remembers the veterans, today my family remembers daddy.

trust daddy to choose to go on a national holiday.

sometimes i forget that daddy is gone. it's just like when i was in college and law school. i'd be in manila, and daddy and mommy would be in baguio. lately, since mommy's abroad, it feels exactly like college.

except daddy would always call. or i would call the house and daddy would pick up. it's when i remember that daddy will not call me again that i feel the pain of loss. the void that daddy left behind. some days it just passes, like an elusive breeze on a summer day. other days the pain lingers and leaves behind an almost palpable trace.

but it's amazing how daddy has touched the lives of many, ensuring that our lives, too will be touched.

just today i received several novels from the daughter of someone who worked with daddy. she remembers daddy so fondly, and found me on a social networking site through a common friend. we have struck up a friendship, and the novels are the second care package i have received from her. we have never met personally and yet i feel that because of daddy's connection to her family, i have known her all my life.

and then there's a long lost relative who took a shot in the dark and emailed my sister, asking her about daddy. she and her sister remember daddy and have photos of him when he was, what, 16? even at a young age daddy was mr. congeniality. he had made them feel so welcome, and now they have welcomed us into their lives. they love food, and travel, and family. so much like us, and yes, i feel like i've known them all my life.

it's been two years. it feels like yesterday and it feels like forever.

but fate has a way of making us feel better. yesterday we got free pizza, today we got free dimsum buffet. i'd like to think daddy had a hand in it and just wanted to treat us today. thank you daddy. thank you for leaving behind bits and pieces of yourself that find their way to us in some way or another. i only wish mommy and my other ates were here to commemorate with us.

today we honor the veterans. and i remember my daddy.

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