I miss my Dad

Taking Manhood Back

I miss my Dad

A letter written by Miel Maguidad to his dad during the wake of his father.
This was written in June of 2007 which I read during dad’s memorial service on November of the same year.  It has been three and a half years since dad died and I still half expect him to be “there.”  I still find myself going to a store and check on what “pasalubong” he would like.  I guess the pain never really goes away.

As we celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday and his birth anniversary on Tuesday, the 21st of June, I would like to let you see a glimpse of how he was to me.

To all the fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day.  And dad, we miss you.  Terribly so.

For Dad:

In my uncertainty
I see him in deep slumber
I want to reach out
And hold his hand
To get some strength
That comes from within

I find his silence disturbing
I long to hear words of love
Words of comfort and assurance
I find myself wishing that he’d say
“it’s alright, you’ll be ok,
life is still worth living”

I grew up hungry for his touch
Hungry for his love and admiration
Hungry for some sort of attention
But now I understand,
That in his cold and stony silence
He hears and hurts so much

I wrote this poem more than 15 years ago. My dad, just like other men of his time, is not demonstrative, nor is he responsive. He is the type that just nods his head when one has a story to tell, or tell one to ask mom if there were questions that needed to be answered. Yet, when you see him with other people, you see a different side to him. He was very popular among his friends. The regular life of the party (though he didn’t party that much). Amiable, talkative, very personable. I grew up thinking that he enjoyed other people and found us cramping his style.

When I became a parent, I realized that my dad didn’t find us cramping his style. He was more overwhelmed. He was after all a father of 6 children. Children of varying ages and personalities. He was struggling on how to communicate with each one of us at a level we understood. That was pretty daunting. He had to deal with teenagers at a time when he also had kids in diapers. He was enjoying his first grand child while his youngest was still in 1st grade. As I go through the “teenage years” with my son, I can imagine how much harder it was for him. He rarely showed us emotion, not because he did not have them but because he did not know how. The 1st time I heard him tell me he loved me was a shock to me. I couldn’t respond. There was absolute silence for about a minute before I could say I loved him too.

Now that we are taking care of him, it is easier for me to speak to him, to communicate with him. It is easier for me to just come up to him and hug him or kiss him. He is softer, more yielding. I know that I don’t have much time left with my dad. His body has been ravaged by Parkinson’s Disease, osteoarthritis and diabetes for years, and now we also have to deal with Alzheimer’s Disease. I try to spend as much time as I can with him, see him once a week, talk to him about anything and everything. Its like I am cramming all the years I missed out in the few years I have left with him. And more than anything, I just want to honor him and be there for him.

I love my dad. So much. And I know he loves me. That gives me the courage and strength to face the years ahead of us and it gives me an understanding of the years behind us.

And the inevitable has happened.  We lost dad at 10:17am on Wednesday, November 21.  Thank you to all of you who are holding us up and giving us courage.  Dad, I love you.