Something my dad constantly, as in every single morning, told me as he was waking me up for school and as I struggled to want to even be alive. And despite how frustrated I made him, he never yelled or got overly mad.
But this is something that has stuck with me my whole life.
It might had contributed to what I call my White Rabbit Syndrome where I feel like I’m constantly racing against time. WHO KNOWS.
Today marks one year since my dad passed away after a 8 year battle with Cancer. Whew, counting that blew my mind. While death from Cancer is never a positive outcome, obviously, he was lucky to had lived that long. My dad had his own anxieties that showed up when I was really young. He was obsessed with the fact that he was dying long before he was even diagnosed with Cancer and that was hard to deal with since he’d use it as a reason against an argument or that “I don’t feel good, I might be dying, I don’t know,” I almost feel like being diagnosed brought him some sort of weird anxiety relief.
And at first, it didn’t see so bad. He had radiation therapy and he was constantly sick but it wasn’t anything that seemed like it would disrupt how our lives were normally lived. So I’ll admit that for the first few years it was hard to imagine there was Cancer because nothing really changed. He wasn’t losing hair or weight or anything. A year after he was diagnosed I got my job back at Disney World so in 2013 I moved back to Florida. We came back to visit that December. In October it was my dad who called and told me that my dog passed away. So to be there without him that year was really hard for me.
I never went back after that. I never saw my dad after that.
And that will always be the hardest thing to swallow.
When I got pregnant with Tums he would check on me asking how I was feeling, how was the baby, and sending me money to feed my cravings cause my parents know how SERIOUS I get about my cravings when I’m not pregnant. Then he sent my mom to stay with me a for a week 2 months after Tums was born. Every time I brought up we’ll be home later that year to visit and so he could meet her he would keep telling me “there’s a lot of time, she’s too small yet to fly.”
We had planned to fly out there in September when Tums was 6 months and able to fly. My dad passed away in August.
I never understood why my dad was always so scared of living life. He didn’t like traveling. He didn’t like being away from home for too long. He didn’t like when we would either. He hated that I moved to Florida but I didn’t want to stay in some small town and not chase my dreams. And he never understood that about me… and almost seemed like he didn’t.
A year later and some days are much much easier than others. Some days I just break down and cry randomly. Other days I can think back and be fine. But there are so many things I didn’t get to say. Or so many things I will never get to say. Some things I’ll never get to share with him esp when it comes to Tums. He loved when she would look like she was dancing, I really wish he could see her now (and not in that “oh he see’s everything” sort of way, I mean Earth side see) and how often she laughs and dances.
My dad, like most Filipino dad’s seemed like he was void of most emotions esp complicated intense ones. He didn’t really say he loved me, he’d show me in the ways he knew how (letting me get my way when I was being a brat, getting me food when I’d ask, buying me stuff I wanted…) but when Tums was born he expressed all the things a proud parent would without shame or hesitation. He’d always tell me to give her a kiss for him or make sure she’s okay. And after a lifetime of not seeing my dad show emotions like that, I was happy that Tums brought that out of him.
I still miss him asking how I’m doing, how’s Sophie, did I eat lunch yet. How’s Tums. Then him ending the convo with asking me to send him her newest photo so he can save it on his phone.
It’s been one year.
One whole year without you here Earth side. It feels like it’s been less time than that but at the same time it feels like it’s been forever. There’s so much I want to tell you, there’s so much I want you to know about Tums. You weren’t suppose to go yet, Tums just got here. I want her to know her Lolo.
And I know no matter how sad I am you’d tell me not to cry, it’s okay. To just make sure to take care of me and Tums.
But being a daddy’s girl and losing you dad hurts.
I miss you dad. I hope you’re doing well, wherever you are. And you’re somewhere with no more pain.
Love you, always.