Time to Say Adieu

Every person has a life story to share and here is a portion of mine.

I was only four years old when I last saw my father. Since then I never heard from him. But I was told a lot of stories about him, what he was like, what he does and who he is. Those stories formed an image inside my head, and it was of a man that I must despise and must not look for and expect from. I grew up not wanting to ever see my father.

But no matter how hard I try to tell myself that he is a useless and uncaring man, at the back of my mind I fabricated the image of the real father I was looking for. Someone who would treat me as if I am a princess, someone who is quite over protective. Someone who would appreciate the things that I do and someone who would be proud to say that I am his daughter and that I inherited my skills and abilities from him. Nearly thirteen years later, I found out that the father image I was looking for had always been in the man that I have always considered as useless and uncaring: My biological father. I was able to see him, hug him, talk to him and make him proud of me. He was not the person I was told he is, apparently he become a renewed man.

I was able to be with him twice and on the second time I knew I wanted to see him often. I wanted to get to know him more; I was looking forward to spending more time with him. I was so happy on that second time, not knowing that it would be the last.

A week later he passed away while playing the piano on a mass at the church where he serves. He died on a very beautiful day, time and place. He died on a Sunday, during the four o’clock mass at the beautiful church where he was a choir master and a devotee; it was also Easter season. He lost consciousness and fell on his piano, everyone screamed and panicked. They brought him to the hospital but he was declared dead on arrival. He died in the church of Santa Clara de Montefalco in Pasig.

I know a Santa Clara church in Katipunan and I know very well that I was taken away from my father on that church for a very complicated and personal reason. On the last day I was with him he told me that the reason why he became devoted to Santa Clara de Montefalco was because he was hoping that someday Santa Clara would bring me back to him so that he could hold me in his arms again. I realized that I was his favorite child, and all those years that I keep on saying that I hate him and that I do not want to see him, he was longing for his baby girl.

During his three day wake, I met a lot of people he worked with and people he had taught. I was told a lot of great stories about him, like what a great musician he is and what a great, kind, caring and loving teacher he is. I envy his students; I honestly do, for they know my father better than I do, apart from that I envy them because they were able to spend more time with him. I tried not to cry, I held back my tears during his wake; I didn’t want my mother to see me crying, though she was very supportive anyway. But on the last night of his wake, I burst out crying in my uncle’s arms. I cried not only because my father is gone, but also because of the broken plans I had for us. I planned to invite him on my eighteenth birthday as my seventeenth dance, I wanted him to be there on my wedding day, to either take me to the altar or to play my wedding march, I also wanted him to see my future children but apparently it will never happen. Perhaps, I have planned those things too early. I guess I never learned that expecting from plans will always lead to great disappointments. But I promised myself that it would be the last time that I would expect for things to happen. For I felt too much pain from losing someone I dearly love.

He was cremated four days later and I let the tears fall as if no one was watching as I watch him being laid to a box and put into a big machine to be burned into ashes. When the cremation was over, they took him out of the machine and what we all saw surprised us, his remains were of powder white ashes. It was then I said my last goodbye and it was also then that I remembered that I have not even told him how much I love him.

I love you papà, and it was nice meeting you, but it is time to say adieu.

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