Life was pretty tough the past few weeks for me. I wonder how life can be so great the day before then shift into sadness the next day. Life is full of surprises, that is for certain. All we can ever do is go with the flow. Savor the happy moments and cry all the heartbreaks away until your heart will be strong again.
What happened was that my father passed away peacefully at home due to complications of his stroke. I am writing about this now because I am full of overwhelming emotions that I hoped writing them all down would help me. To ease up all of these feelings inside of me right now.
Not Going home
Unfortunately, because of all the continuing travel restrictions at present due to the pandemic, going home was not a practical and feasible action for me. Flying back to the UK would require a long 10-day quarantine (the Philippines is on the Red List) in a government-approved hotel/accommodation. The estimated expenses would cost me around 3,000-5,000 GBP or more.
And because I don’t have that amount, I decided not to go home.
Reflections in life
As I sit in the living room staring at the window, millions of thoughts run to my mind. My head is aching, my heart is heavy.
Death always leaves a big impression on the people left behind, it could be good and bad. I remember feeling the same thing when my Kuya passed away back in 2017.
Feelings of sadness and emptiness. It made me ask lots of questions about my life, to look back on how I live on this Earth.
When someone close to us dies, we are forcefully reminded that life has an ending (at least the Physical one). That life is short too. We hoped to live for 80-100 years but nope, sometimes we could only get until 60 or if lucky, maybe 70 years. And with all that in consideration, I relate this to my life wondering that if I suddenly die tomorrow, would I say that I truly lived a happy life?
When I was young, I remember my Mommy (grandmother) made a comment about the way I walk. That I walk just like my papa. That I got my eyes from him too.
Then when I moved to live with them in the city, we sometimes got on each other’s nerves. That was when I realized, we had the same personalities too which was making us clash so often. If I was stubborn, he was too. He couldn’t be persuaded to change his mind. But because he was the head of the family, all we could do was obey him.
My father was hard-working and was always the disciplinarian in our family. He was very strict especially towards me and my sister. Working as a policeman for many years, he would say he had seen horrible stuff happening to people all the time, he was only protecting us.
Education was very important for him as he had to work on his own while finishing his studies during his University days. He learned hard work at an early age starting as a porter at a pier to a jeepney driver until he worked as a policeman. And even though he had a full-time job, he still worked as a part-time security guard at a huge shipping company in the evening. I know he did all of it so he could give us a good life.
All he ever wanted was for us to finish school and become successful just like what a typical Filipino father would dream for their children. It is when I started working and earning my own money that I understand him completely.
He wasn’t perfect though, we know that he made a lot of mistakes in the past that have affected our family. But so is everyone else.
Our relationship became fragile back then just like in a typical parent teenager relationship. He made me angry and frustrated a few times before from his being very strict with me. And I’m sure I made him mad and disappointed with my actions too. We also weren’t very affectionate and showy with our feelings but I know in my heart that he cared and loved us very much in his special way.
We will miss you, Papa. xx