His Supposed 64th Birthday

September 07, 2013

It's my Papa's birthday today. He could have been 59 if not for that agonizing health condition that took him away from us 6 years ago. His death was my first most painful experience. I witnessed how he carried his heaviest cross during the last few months of his life. Endured the most painful pain a life can give. Almost considered the hospital his second home where his lifetime treatment were being done.

He died around two o'clock in the afternoon the day after our family had our last Christmas together in 2003. The memories during that day are all still vivid. I see how he ate the foods so sumptuously as if it was his last meal. He's not an ice cream person but that day he consumed 3 scoops of ice cream like he never had it before. He held my daughter, Kate (his first grandchild) as if he's not in pain. And I still can see both joy and sadness in his eyes while waving on us as we drove back home to the city later in the afternoon on Christmas day.

Do you ever believe in premonitions? Somehow, I do. I wasn't by his side when he died but somewhere in my sleep on Christmas night I dreamed of him. He talked to me and told me to never leave the baby crying. He's referring to my daughter who was only a year old then. I was about to answer him when he disappeared. Shortly, he reappeared. That woke me up. Grasping for some light to check the clock... it was after midnight.

The following day (26th) at around 2pm, while doing the dishes, a glass slipped from my grasp.

At the same hour my daughter, Kate cried. She was never a cry baby as far as I can recall. But her cry during that time did sound so strange to me. She cried like she's hurting that she doesn't want to stop no matter how I tried to hush and comfort her.

At around three o'clock, the doorbell rung. It was my aunt - Papa’s sister. I still remember what she first said before she broke the bad news…that I need to gather my strength and be calm. I did exactly what I was told. I stood a few minutes talking to her by the gate with NO TEARS... not even a single drop. Then quietly I headed back to the house still feeling empty and don't know what kind of emotion I have had in myself back then. At around 7 o'clock in the evening we drove home. It was only when the car engine started and we’re ready to leave when I burst into tears. Tears like I've never cried before.

My Papa died of complete Kidney Failure, a condition that lasted him for nine months. He doesn't like hospitals and that was the reason for his late diagnosis but nevertheless, he was well taken care of for the last few months of his life even if to my family it means a total agony---emotionally, physically and financially.

It was never easy for us his family to went through such battle but we never gave up for him. It has been eleven years and he could have been 64 now. But like we always believe in, we are sure he is in a better place now with God.

You are always missed, Papa. I do. We all do! I’m sorry that sending you flowers and saying prayers are all we could do. We love you so much and yes we do still wish you’re here so we can hug you and greet you a happy birthday but I know you’re happier to where you are now so I guess we shouldn't be asking for more, huh.

We love you and we miss you so much, Pa.
Happy Birthday!

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