After the fight, Dad decided it was time to rest. And the day he chose was today. He went without drama, without tears, without goodbyes. He just passed... as if it was the most natural thing.
I am numb. But I am at peace. I know Daddy Boy really LIVED his life. Of course there were so many other things he could have done more, but in his 67 years, he had received so many blessings fit for many lifetimes. But he also had his share of trials, and they were many, especially physically. He was ravaged and torn but he fought the fight. His spirit was not diminished... despite two major brain surgeries when he was younger, despite his bout with colon cancer, despite his struggle with diabetes (and believe me, this was a struggle because how he loved to eat!), despite his aortic stenosis, his pneumonia, his bed sore, his multiple strokes, his kidney problems, and so much more. Though it seemed physically he was weak, his faith was unshakable.
I believe God made him His instrument of what prayers, faith and love can do. Daddy could've left us earlier. In 2000, he died for a few minutes, but he came back. From that day forth, we considered each day a blessing, a new lease on life, an extended gift.
I never saw Daddy as the unapproachable, dictatorial, authoritarian dad. When I was introduced to him as Boydee's girlfriend, he told me jokingly that they had Chinese blood, thinking Boydee's being Filipino would be an issue in my family. In the next few meetings, he would ask me 'O! Kailan mo ako bigyan ng the IV, referring to a son.' When Boydee and I got married, it took us 15 months to be pregnant. Imagine the pressure especially when Daddy would be in and out of the hospital. I prayed so hard to God for Dad to be able to at least see the birth of the IV. I prayed so hard for a son. It was like I dedicated Bric to Daddy Boy. True enough, when Bric was born, somehow, they immediately had a special bond.
When Bric was a baby, his Lolo Boy would visit him in our room, and even if Dad wasn't as strong, he would try to carry our heavy son. When we put Bric on Lolo Boy's lap while he was in his wheel chair, the highly energetic, hyper Bric knew NOT to move so that Lolo Boy wouldn't have a hard time. He loved Lolo Boy, was always generous with his kisses and hugs, was always ready to sing and dance for Lolo if asked. Bric could make Lolo Boy smile from ear to ear. When Lolo Boy could eat, they would have merienda of noodle soup in Chowking.
I, for one, have always been a Daddy's girl with Daddy Victor, and with Daddy Boy. He was a pleasure to take care of. Sure, he had his moods but you just know that his heart was pure and gentle. In his quiet and calm moments and I'd be holding his hand, he would look at me and tell me thank you for taking care of him. Sometimes, for no reason, he would say thank you. He'd say I love you. And to me, it was not just words, it was a genuine heartfelt conveyance. Dad knew how to make one feel special. When you are with him, one can not help but give as much love and care as he deserves. He was a big lovable baby, one I could make 'lambing' to.
I can not even begin to say how much Daddy Boy meant to Boydee. He was his idol, and that says a lot. Boydee was named after him and that is a responsibility my husband does not take lightly. He carries it with so much pride because he knows that his dad is a great man, because he has helped so many and loved so much.
I feel you're just here Dad, in our midst, that you're just in your room sleeping, or in therapy. I still don't want to think that you've gone away forever. So for now, I won't say my goodbyes. I know wherever you are, that you will always still be with us. We love you so much! Thank you for staying for as long as you could. Now, you can rest and eat all the food you want! See you in Hong Kong!!!