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For those of you who've been reading my blog for a while now then you must know a thing or two about my dad. I shared to you about him in this post. The reason why I've been on blogger hiatus for so long was because I had to stand by his side as he fought his battle. He passed away the 3rd of March this year after his long struggle with multiple sclerosis and cancer. I'd admit that I suck at expressing my emotions verbally so I usually end up writing them just like I did with this eulogy. (I tried reading it out for everyone to hear but as expected my words got caught up on my throat and tears were threatening to fall down. It sucks to be a softy sometimes.)
(Written March 7, 2014 ; 7:25 AM)
After putting some thought into it I realized that funerals are not for mourning of a loss but instead a celebration of a life well lived. Why are we born? Why are you born? What is our purpose in life? Someone once told me that the reason we were born into this world was not for our own sake. We were born for others. We were born to touch lives. Many people fail to achieve that but Papa did it. And he did not just do it. He did it well. He did it exceptionally.
He touched so many lives and that included mine. My Papa was my biggest inspiration. He taught me a lot of things. He taught me how to be strong, how to be resourceful, how to be thankful, how to be understanding, how to be forgiving, how to be friendly, how to be generous, how to be selfless. He is my knight in shining armor and my king. As his princess I’ve had quite a number of fond memories with him.
I remember it well. We were inside my parent’s room. I was small, really chubby with thin short hair. I was holding a pencil and atop my little green table was a notebook covered in blue green paper. I was sitting rather annoyed because I hated writing. Little did I know that it would be a passion I’d have when I grow up. Papa was beside me, patiently talking me through and telling me how to write A’s and B’s. Even if I was complaining he sat there smiling and looking at me with those eyes as if I was the rarest diamond the world could ever find.
There too was a time when he took me out malling. If you knew me since I was little then you'd know that I was big and really chubby and really heavy. I often complained about walking and that my feet would get sore. I told him just that and he placed me on top of the baggage counter table and took a look at my feet red and sore in some spots. He just smiled at me and touched my aching feet then he took me into his arms and carried me.
He also had my room built. The scaredy-cat that I was I didn’t like sleeping in there alone. So he went upstairs to my bedroom and plopped himself into my bed. He said that it’s comfortable and will make even him sleep well. In fact he’d like to sleep in my room. I’m telling you my dad is good at sales talk. He did convince me to give my room a chance which I did eventually.
I have loads more of good memories with my dad but if I talk about them one by one then we’ll never finish so allow me to tell you about him and his qualities.
Papa was a man who knew love but not hate. He had people stab him in the back, abandon him and betray him but he had nothing but forgiveness, acceptance and understanding for them. He was a man who knew to be kinder if people were mean.
Papa was giver to the extent that he so willingly gives too much and leaves nothing to himself. I often found it crazy but it was his nature. It was one of his greatest assets. I never thought it was possible to give unconditionally and indefinitely until I saw it in him. He was like our very own brand of Santa Claus.
Papa was someone who loves to crack the silliest jokes and often times the corny ones too. It was his habit to make people laugh, lighten up conversations and be the jolly good fellow that he is. Even in the middle of a bad situation, he’d always find some sunlight.
Papa was a gentleman. It wouldn’t be a wonder why he was my mom’s first and last. I bet anyone would wish for a man like him. It would be so hard to find someone as he. One will probably have to move heaven and earth to find someone worthy in comparison.
Papa was my first love. He was the first man to carry me in his arms. He’d often give me a piggy back ride whenever my feet got sore from the walking. Back then I was so fat and weighed a ton despite my age but he doesn’t mind. He even reveled in it and I enjoyed it. Too bad I never got the chance to dance with him. I never knew if he was a great dancer or if like me he had two lefts for feet.
Papa was a great cook. He loves Pancit and anything that sizzles in its plate. Like the food he cooks that is packed with savory goodness and flavors, so was his zest for life and love. It was like a buffet or an eat all you can where you can have as much as you want.
Papa is a man of all sorts. He’s a king, a knight in shining armor, a mentor, an artist, a lover, a husband, a friend, a son, a brother, a basketball MVP, a leader and much more. There are not enough adjectives to describe him. No metaphor is powerful enough to showcase his life. No symbolism strong enough to capture the riveting image of him.
Papa is the greatest man the Lord has ever given to me, to my mom, my sister, to our family and to everyone. It was so hard to let him go it’s like sumer without the sun or spring without the flowers. Goodbyes are indeed the hardest but they are part of life. Not everything stays forever. Not everyone lives forever. We have to let things go just because. That however doesn’t mean that we have to let go of the memories too. Those should be kept in our hearts where it will live forever till the end of time.
I’m keeping Papa in my heart where his memory and his legacy will live on. Besides as one of my favorite authors said, “Death is but the next great adventure.” I love you Papa. We love you. Till we meet again.