I’ll be turning 30 in a month and I’m preparing a list of things I need to do in my life before my birthday. I feel like it’s going to be a new chapter in my life — being 30, which I kind of dread a bit. One of the things I listed is to publish a very honest blog post and since it’s going to be Father’s Day this month, here I am writing a post about my father.
It just so happens that I have two and honestly, I’m hesitant about posting something so personal. But a good friend told me that I have to be brave and who knows there might be someone out there who can relate. So here goes.
I have come to realize that I don’t talk about my father that much. It’s not that I have a bad relationship with him. I just don’t have the experience or everyday moments with him like most people with fathers do. BTW, I’m talking about my STEPFATHER here. I come from what many would refer to as a “broken family.”
Long story short, my mom and my biodad split up when I was little.
My mom found love in my Stepdad, who’s been my rock and the reason why I am what I am and I have what I have now – a happy life. But since Father’s Day is coming, here I am thinking about telling him once and for all, how I feel the moment he stopped visiting me and disappeared from our lives.
He’s not a Filipino-Citizen. He visits us and stays with us for three months or so before flying back to Malaysia or New Zealand. He’s mysterious. People who don’t understand him think he’s weird. But what I think is that he doesn’t want to deal with drama. He’s a no-nonsense kind of person. And once you get to know him, he’s really kind, generous and very understanding. A really good person, he is.
Most of my childhood, I grew up with good things – and I don’t mean material stuff. I grew up having wonderful experiences like traveling, going to a good school, having friends who think like me, and being surrounded by genuine people. I knew then and I’ve accepted that I’m not like most families who have parents who are married. But that didn’t make me feel different.
My dad is one awesome man who took me to places I’ve never been to before. On weekends, he’d take me and my mom to beaches for a picnic, or to that one place where they serve my favorite – mais con hielo. One thing I will never forget about my dad (and I’m probably going to do the same to Kai) is when he brings food or a snack he prepared every time he’d pick me up from school. My dad understood I had a big appetite when I was a kid (I still do, even now duh?). He was even amused by that fact. So when I got in the car, there it was – it’s either Yakult or a burger he cooked himself (or from Jollibee) waiting for me.
He also supported my love for animals. He allowed me to keep a dog named Muttley, my first dog ever.
He hates dogs – but he’s not capable of hurting them. He says he hates dogs but he instructs me on what to do to take care of a dog. That’s how I know he’s such a good person – he says he doesn’t like dogs, but he still chose to be kind to the animal. I also got to keep white mice around – I sensed his reluctance of letting me keep white mice but he supported it. Even suggested that I should buy the necessary items like the wheel and he even looked for a house for my little friends.
And there’s supporting my love for arts and crafts, which helped me a lot during my childhood considering the school projects and all. And this is probably why I’m a stationery addict because each time he comes to the Philippines, he’ll bring me a pack of plain paper, mechanical pencils and colored pencils. He knew I loved to draw and create things out of paper.
He even taught me how to play the guitar in high school, which is why I got to pursue another passion of mine – music. I was able to perform in a band in high school and even when I was in college.
I could go on and on about how he had given me a rich childhood. But that’s the thing. As I grew up and as he slowly disappeared from my life, I’ve come to think that it was his mission – to give me a memorable childhood filled with happy memories during my formative years, which are crucial in a child’s development and performance throughout life.
And just like most missions, once it’s over it’s done. Mission accomplished.
He saw me grow up well. He knew I didn’t lose my way. I finished college without giving my parents trouble. And maybe that was already enough for him.
I was too happy or too young to even care about what love was at that time that I didn’t pay too much attention to my mom and Dad’s relationship. For reasons I’m not sure, they split and I didn’t know how to react. I wasn’t given an opportunity to react. I was just there – accepting it as if it was inevitable. Nobody explained a thing to me but I’ve come to accept that it didn’t work for them. And there’s the thought that theirs was a love that’s short-lived but he stuck around just so I could have someone to call Dad. And if ever that’s the case, I am still grateful.
I rarely hear from my dad these days. I should be hearing more from him considering the technology we now have. But I don’t. We do exchange emails but it’s not like before. Most of our e-mails are one or two-liners. I have Kai now and I wanted him to meet my Dad so bad, but each reply seems to imply that he didn’t want me there. I don’t wanna push it. I don’t want to intrude. I haven’t seen him in 8 years – who knows, he could have a new family. I have other thoughts but I don’t wanna dwell on them.
I do have questions now and it’s more of whys. What happened and why did he have to disappear from my life? Why can’t I be part of his life now…?
Hey dad, I’m writing to you, just to tell you how I feel…