Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Father That I Have Come to Love




image by fine art america

I really appreciate all of you my blogger friends for all your prayers and affection to what I and my family are individually and collectively going through right now. Certainly all your prayers and kind messages to me are sources of strengths in this time of trial. Today, permit me not to talk about politics or news or blogging for a while.

Yesterday, my father was already discharged from the hospital and is now resting and recuperating in our house in the province.

My mother told me that he is always in great pain. He cannot move that much and every little action entails an agonizing pain for my father and a sad and helpless view for my siblings. He is into liquid diet something that he really resents. The doctor put on bandages over his chest down to his abdomen to let the fractured ribs and his wounded lungs heal. Everytime he coughs, he is spitting blood. Being away from his side working here in Cavite, I just cannot imagine the pain he is going through and the emotional burden my mother has to carry on her wearied shoulders, as if the long years she was with him was not yet enough.

This is the first time in my life that I saw my father so helpless, cringing in pain and shedding precious of his rare tears. This is the father that I have not come to grow with. I don't know if he is crying solely because of the physical pain that is punishing him or also because of the heavy emotional burden of being so helpless in this circumstance. But I would try to believe it to be both.

My name Gerson actually was derived from his name Generoso (like the name of the cheap brandy on sari-sari stores that keeps him company on many depressing occasions). I grew up angry at him, something that I was not proud of. I was angry at him for so many reasons, reasons that a son won't usually be proud to share to his buddies and to total strangers.

I could say that he never shed much sweat and blood to toil for our family's needs and welfare. He only stays at home, do some household chores, watch his select favorite TV shows and go to bed early. That is his routine. Being an eldest son that I am, who grew up in poverty but reared by my mother with a spartan spirit, I resented having a father like him. My young mind and tender heart looked for a father that I could be proud; a father who is a stellar model of industry that I could put side-by-side with my buddies' hardworking dads.

But he was not one of them; he was not like them.

He is so distant, something that a son could only see, but could not touch and reach nor embrace like the clouds and stars we dream of reaching. I haven't heard from him asking me how I was doing, how was school, or was I hurt or am I happy? Maybe all fathers are like that, I used to reason out, something to justify what I have.

I could only count on my fingers on a single hand the times he attended my countless recognitions and graduations to pin my medals. I could only count on my fingers the rare times he signed my report cards. He never visited me in the seminary or called me up on my phone to check how I was doing on my religious formation? Maybe all fathers are like that, I still used to reason out. But the bricks of anger were filling up up my young heart, soon to tower like a wall.

On all these times so difficult and hurting for me, the only person that has become my refuge was my mother. Her strength, wisdom and virtues of telling me to understand my father despite of everything for he was just a victim of his own historicity and more importantly for he is still my father no matter what, slowly toppled down the wall of anger that I was building out of sheer frustrations and resentment. My mother's warm love and her strength all throughout the years of being there for us as a great mother and a father; nourisher and provider at the same time, softened my heart for my father. My mother was my security. If my mother loved and tried to understand my father for so many years without showing any stain of vice towards him, how can I not do the same?

My mother was a woman of great virtues; devout wife and mother. Call her a martyr, but for me she is a saint. Without her, I could have become the man that I hated; the man that is my nightmare.

I have slowly come to understand and love my father just the way that he is. It was not an easy road that I have taken, but I am just glad I did.

I can never forget the one instance he told me he loves me and how proud he is of me: when he was so drunk, and gave me 20 pesos as a gift. I was so surprised and so joked him that I wish he is always drunk.

He was an unwanted child. My grandmother being so preoccupied with her work, tried to abort him for a couple of times. But my father maybe just wanted to live, though was born premature. My auntie who sent me to school told me stories about my dear father that slowly opened my heart to embrace the man I once told myself that I would never wanted to become.

When he was still a child, he was so fickle, so sickly and shy. His IQ is below average and he is slow to pick up lessons on school. To this my grandmother hired a nanny and tutor for him. But to no avail. He once run away from school, went home full of tears and begging my aunt and my grandmother not to send him anymore to school for he really can't comprehend everything.

My father maybe is just but a victim of circumstances. This is the father that I once hated but now so much loved.

Last Tuesday, he fell from the roof of hotel. He is working there together with some of my uncles. At the age of 53, he said that this would be his last hurray. He wanted to show to us his children that he can work to provide for his family's needs; that we can be proud of him.

But the accident came.

Now I miss him. He may not change or become the affectionate father I once dream of having, I can surely become a father to my children the way I wanted a father to become to his children. I may not receive from him the things I wanted to feel, but I can surely give to my children the things I would have wanted to receive, for I truly know what children wants from their fathers; and maybe only then that I could truly feel satisfied.

I am proud of my father.


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19 comments:

Jan said...

If I were your father and reading your blog today, I'd muster every strength and will to recover so I can make up for all the wasted years.

If I were your father I'd cry buckets of tears, too. Not for the physical pain but the sheer shame, guilt, and sense of loss.

I wish him well and a quick recovery. For his family's sake. For him to find himself finally. So he'd become a proper father and husband.

I salute you for the guts to post this kind of revelation. You will have to make awfully drunk like your father to make me publish something like this. You are your mother's son indeed.

A warrior with a generous heart.

jojigirl said...

Paying you a visit, and uncovered a love letter previously tucked by resentment for years. And it was never too late to learn to understand and love your father.

elmot said...

@jan: don't worry, i am totally not drunk when i made this post.

i got this strength certainly from my mother who was really the model of virtues and wisdom to me.

i think he does not need to read this post anymore just to know what i feel and so make up for it.

certainly he feels it already deep inside.

elmot said...

@jojigirl: thanks for the visit. i am just thankful that God gave me the ears...am i just glad that i had listened.

and i am just also so much thankful that everything is indeed not too late.

mariancalago said...

I cannot say any word but to shed a tears for a moment.

bloggista said...

Hey Elmot aka Gerson - after almost a month of being away from blogging and the world - (took some really needed vacation), here I saw this really sad story of yours.

I hope and pray for your father's speedy recovery. Everything has a purpose - so better grab this opportunity to tell your father how proud and grateful you are.

I grew up without a father - my dad died when I was just 5 years old, and that's one thing I never experienced, growing up without a real father. You're lucky dude, to have a simple, loving father, who's only dream perhaps is to see his kids grow better men and women - and not wanting any grand recognition for all his efforts.

You should go tell him how proud you are to be his son.

elmot said...

@marian: thanks for coming over. i never meant to make you cry on this one, but i just hope that those tears gave you some positive energies in some ways.

you are always welcome here.

elmot said...

@bloggista: i am just so glad that you are back. i was always peeping over your blog but i thought not to disturb you coz i was totally right; you were on a vacation. and i am just glad you did take one for yourself, you have seen like an automaton bro.

well, thanks for the advice and i will take it. he is showing improvements.

Dee said...

I don't actually know what to say. I'm speechless. But one thing is for sure: I am so touched and moved by this post. I applaud your for having learned to accept and loved your father despite all those things you mentioned. It takes a lot to do that and it's no easy feat. God bless. :D

elmot said...

@dee: thanks! it was certainly a long process that i have undergone, but as i said i am just thankful that i did.

thank you for dropping by here on my blog :D

fedhz said...

Hi, Elmot! I have been here in your blog a few days back.. I think I saw you from Jan/Ceblogger/Bingkee. Anyway, this is very emotional and very well-written.

I used to hate my father but is learning to accept his shortcomings. Thank you so much for making me appreciate him more. ^^

elmot said...

@fedhz: thanks for dropping by and making a comment. i really appreciate it.

indeed, sometimes we start with the wrong foot, but what is important are all the realizations that we get and in the end everything boils down to acceptance and loving the person no matter what he was and he is.

fedhz said...

No prob, elmot. I really appreciate your comments in my blog as well.

I'm sorry for what happened to your dad. they say everything has a reason. we just need to look at the good side of the story, bcoz there's always will be.

Like I said, I used to hate my father (but maybe that's because of the wrong input my mom and my siblings had instilled on me). Now I am the only one who understands my father because I have learned to accept what he has to give, and focus on to his good side.

though I hated my mother for that, deep inside I miss her. I miss them all. In this kind of circumstance, nothings better than to stick together. I think your dad will recuperate in no time because of your very loving mother and an understanding son like you.

I don't say this often but g0d bless! ^^

elmot said...

@fedhz: wow, that was quite a revelation. i am just so glad that you also trusted me with your story bro.

sometimes we don't understand things and people, but as my matter of life principle, as long as i loved, no matter what people say or those i love do wrong to me in return...as long as i loved... for what will you merit on loving those lovable only?

God bless bro. we are all on the same carousel ride on this :D

fedhz said...

LOL, mukha ba kong lalake? sorry ha, wala kaseng avatar ung blog ko. hehe

elmot said...

@fedhz: sorry for the blunder, ehehe! oo nga eh, wla kasing avatar.

pero, bawi ako sayo next time, ehehe

Holly Jahangiri said...

Some people never realize that forgiveness and love are grace; that they are healing waters that let us move forward, unburdened by regret and negative emotions.

Maybe your father really did do the best he could with the hand life dealt him, and as your mother said to you, years ago - he is your father, and that is enough. Not what you needed, wanted, or deserved in a father, growing up, but without him and her together, you wouldn't exist at all. For that alone, it's worth the effort to see the man and love him as he is, if it can be done.

I'm a little proud of him, too, for whatever it was that prompted him to go up on that roof and work. I'm sorry that it ended up the way it did, but glad you can acknowledge the effort and feel sympathy for him.

And sometimes, a bad example serves as a good one. Knowing what you DON'T want to be may serve you just as well as having an image of idealized fatherhood to live up to. No parent is perfect; we just do the best we can and hope our kids find it in their hearts to love us for trying and forgive us when we fail.

elmot said...

@holly: my mother was instrumental for my change of heart and my change of perspective. i think without her showing as a very good example of what she says, i would have not spoken these words to my father now.

maybe, he did not become the father that i wanted him to be to me, but learning lessons from him as a son, i could now know how to become a good father.

nobe said...

i'm sorry for what happened elmot. i hope this event in your life only makes you a stronger and better person.

i, too, have some ill feelings with my father but for a totally different reason. it's probably our fate. amid all these, one thing that we can be thankful for is that we are here in this world because of our fathers.

smile elmot. though it hurts. take time to smile. :)

love,
nobe

www.deariago.com
www.iamnobe.wordpress.com




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