Five Years

It still surprises me to remember that it’s actually been five years since my father passed away. I often fumble when people actually ask how long it’s been and I feel embarrassed when I can’t remember correctly or actually give a wrong answer. It’s probably something I should know without much thought. How can I forget the exact date when he passed on?

I guess I just don’t like thinking about it. I guess now in some ways I still can’t accept that he’s gone and we’re continuing on without him. Sure, I’m already used to not having him around, to only see him in photographs and sometimes in dreams, but there’s still that space in my life that I feel like he should still be occupying (which of course he does in his own way even when he’s not physically around). I guess no one is ever really prepared to lose a parent, no matter how you know it’s going to happen.

I still miss him a lot and I still think of what it could have been like if he were still alive today. It’s not as difficult as it used to be, to remember him, to think of him. But I guess I’ll always feel this way around this time of the year when we all go down and visit him. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I just wish in some ways it’s easier (and in other ways I like it the way it is, as sad as it can be).



An Unlikely Visit to Tatay

I was out for almost the whole day today and I spent most of the time (surprise, surprise) eating. I even have the pictures on Facebook as proof. However, I have another blog for such things so my foodie adventures from today will be posted there. Hopefully by tomorrow. As you can probably tell, I’m not really all that regular a blogger. This writing-everyday thing is going to be a bit of a challenge for me. I just know it.

But anyway. On to other things beyond how gluttonous I can be!

Today, we went to the cemetery to visit Tatay. For those who don’t know, All Saints (November 1) and All Souls (November 2) Days are pretty important holidays here in the Philippines. These are the days in particular when we go visit and pay respects to our beloved dead. It’s also a time when families get together for reunions, which doesn’t happen very often given how people are so busy nowadays. Unfortunately for me, I had work on those two days (See? Busy!) so I wasn’t able to go and visit our dead and meet up with our relatives. Because of that, we decided that we will visit Tatay this weekend.

Mama and I met up with one of my Titas, Tita Bong, for lunch and we ended up enjoying each other’s company so much, we ended up taking more time than we planned. Which was okay since Tita Bong had been out of the country for so long so we never saw her until then. Still, it was already past 3pm when we parted and we still had to go visit Tatay. We picked up Noel, my brother, then headed off. We had to take some time to visit our house in Binan too because there was a buyer and then we were off again when all business was done. It was already around 5pm then and it was starting to get dark.

By the time we arrived in the cemetery, there was almost no light out. The sun had set and the sky only had a few patches of light blue. The cemetery was already kind of deserted, especially since the cemetery staff didn’t bother to light the lamps even if it was the time when a lot of people were expected to come by and visit their dead. I guess they were trying to conserve spending for electricity but whatever. I still think that was kind of dumb of them, at least for this occasion. We’ve never visited Tatay’s grave that late before but somehow it wasn’t eerie at all. I guess it helped that the place wasn’t filled with graves as a lot of other cemeteries were and it was very well maintained.

Just as we got out of the car, it started to rain. It was just a gentle shower and it cooled the surroundings down. Midday heat has been ridiculous nowadays so this bit of rain was a blessing. It’s kind of superstitious, but I liked to think that it was Tatay being welcoming and happy as we stayed with him for a while and prayed. It really felt like he was right there with us and it was a warm, familiar comfort. The rain went on until we finished then headed back to the car to go back home.

Tatay, I hope you’re doing okay where you are. We miss you. We love you.