Remembering Papa

June 15, 2014

I was walking home from brunch when I saw a nice yellow butterfly flying, hovering above the flowers in front of the swimming pool area.

I have come to associate butterflies big and small with my mom. Over the years, whenever I see a butterfly, immediately I think about my mom and smile because I know that she is peaceful and happy wherever she is. Always I remember how strong and graceful she was. Always I miss her. Sometimes I feel sad and wish she were still with us.

In recent months, I have come to associate butterflies with Papa as well. A little over a year ago, he passed away and ever since, butterflies to me have become reminders of Mommy and Papa, the life they lived, and the lives we live now as their children.

The yellow butterfly this morning reminded me of Papa. It's Father's Day this Sunday and I can't help but reminisce. Father's Day is supposed to remind us to honor our Dads. For me and my siblings, it's supposed to remind us to celebrate the Papa we had and I guess be happy that he's already up there with Mommy and the Lord Almighty. Quite honestly, it also reminds me that he is forever gone and now Kim, Alvin and I are orphans.

Papa raised us on his own when Mommy died. He supported all three of us through college and made good on his promise to give us all education. There were rough patches but he always pulled through. He wasn't perfect. He had his faults. He made mistakes. But he was a good father and I would never have traded him for anybody else. He did a pretty good job raising us. We ended up quite decent, I think. Yes, there were times when I thought he could've done better. But looking back, I realize that I could have been a better daughter.

I have always been a Papa's girl. Whenever I went home to Tacloban, he'd always cook my favorite sinigang and crispy pata and I never had to do household chores (hehe). When I was younger, he'd always brag about the medals I got last graduation to his kumpares during their drinking sessions. Yes, we fought a lot and I was never the sweet, expressive type but I always knew that he was proud of his little girl (quite literally) and I loved my old man.

Remember how fathers are so protective of their daughters when it comes to relationships? He used to say that he'd shoot any guy who would make us cry with his shotgun. It was quite embarrassing, really, every time he said that in front of his friends, and he said that a lot. Well, the moment came when I did cry but the shotgun was never fired. Instead, he gave me the support I needed, made me feel brave again, and reminded me of the strong, bright girl he had raised. In my desperate moments, I asked him to talk to the guy and give him a good reprimanding but he never did, much to my annoyance. He told me why a few days before he passed away. He said that he did not want them to see me as the girl cowering behind her dad when the going gets tough - it was my battle to fight, he would stand by me and give me all the advice I needed but ultimately, I had to make the decisions and no one else can fight my fights for me. That, I think, was one of the best nuggets of wisdom he had left me with.

I wish Papa were still with us. Kim, Alvin and I all do. Maybe there's an alternate universe out there where we're still a complete family. Maybe we would be happier there, maybe not. But in this universe and in this reality, it's now only the three of us left and I know that we just have to deal with it.

So while you still can, tell your dad how much you love him and appreciate him for everything that he's done for you. Tell him how grateful you are for having him as your father. Tell him every time you have the chance, over and over, as long as he lives.

Happy Father's Day, Papa! Happy Father's Day to your father too.

You Might Also Like


Holy Grail Recipes

Like us on Facebook

Pink All-year round