He was sitting on a rocking chair. His eyes was tired, his voice was weak. I held his warm hands. My heart was in so much distress and sadness and I couldn’t endure the pain looking at him. He was in terrible pain. I could see it in his face he was all ready to succumb to his illness.
“I love you Dad! I really miss you so much.” I said in a rattling voice to gently break the silence surrounded us.
As he looked at me I saw some sparks coming from his cloudy eyes. Those eyes were been in the dark for so long. They have awakened trying to express an emotion hovering inside. My dad was blind since he was 60 years old. He had an eye disease called cataract.
He was already 85 years old and his body was changing, it was withering away because of his age and illness. For so many years he became so unhappy and lonely, when my Mom passed away. I felt that dreadful feeling. I thought grieving would just last for awhile but it took me three years to finally accept that my beloved mother was really gone.
I know I have this guilt haunting me. I left my Dad alone, I should have taken care of him. But how, my job was in the city. I was only renting a small apartment. He lives with my brother in the island. We send money for his medication and their daily expenses. If only my other sisters would take care of him. But nobody wants to give a commitment. All of them were busy with their family and their own lives. How I wish my elder sister would volunteer to offer her big house- I guess there was so much room for my Dad it would be easier and closer for all his children to visit him. There are so many hospitals or clinic nearby unlike in the island hospitals are in far away town. But it’s not my choice to decide.
“I’m sorry Dad! I’m really sorry if I just came now.”
He held my hand and felt it.
My brother told me that Dad couldn’t remember all his children anymore even their names. His memory was fading and losing. A condition or disease that old people over 70 years old most likely had.
It was really heart breaking to see him like this.
I reached his forehead and asked.
“Dad, do you know me? Do you still remember me? Do you recognize my voice?”
My Dad nodded, and quickly responded.
“Yes, you are my Bunso,my youngest child. She was a Class Valedictorian from Kinder to high school. I’m so proud of her.”
My eyes were filled with tears. I could no longer endure the pain I was bearing inside.
My Dad, still remember me. He never let me slipped in his memory. I was so happy – but it only lasted for awhile.
I took the scissors and comb from the drawer and I started cutting his long grey hairs. I also shaved off some of his mustache and beards. His eye brows were long that it almost covered his eyes.
That was the happiest moment I had with my Dad. Our little bonding moment I considered.
Every night we heard his screams brought by a dying pain. We didn’t know what to do. His body was shutting down. He was screaming for his Father’s name, his grand parents begging to take his life.
God, I don’t want to see my Father suffering. Please help him contain the pain. I don’t like to feel the same fear, the same pain when I saw my Mom dying from suffering from a breast cancer. I knew how difficult it was. Seeing her in so much pain was tormenting. It stabbed my heart over and over. If I could just take away all those pains and bear it myself.
It was really painful and difficult moment in our lives when we are losing our love ones.
Those pains dwelling inside were like an atomic bomb. It would explode devastatingly. Not just one time but it was like forever. I could not think of any accurate word to define that ill feeling it was obsolete. All I wanted is to get away or run away from it. It was like you were stubbed by a knife in your heart million times.
Just like when I lose my Mom, I told her, “Please don’t leave us yet. I don’t want you to leave. I want you to stay. If there is a miracle, you will live. You will recover and you’ll be fine. But I don’t want to be selfish, if leaving us in this world will give you peace and comfort and will take away all the pains and sufferings then let it be…”.
I’m telling the same thing to my dying Father. I wanted him to fight against death. I wanted him to live and stay. But I don’t want to see him suffering and fading little by little.
“Dad, please don’t say goodbye yet. I still want to hold your hand. I still want to hear your voice. I still want to feel your breath. But I know you can’t hold anymore. Just like me and all your children. But before you go, I just want to tell you. I love you so much. I really do.”
But we know he really had to go. Mom was waiting for him. She would take him to a place where they could find their own comfort free from any pains and sufferings. Where they could be together again and be happy.
As he closed his breathless eyes we saw a single tear rolling from it endlessly.***–***
I wrote this piece in memory of my Dad, I considered this as one of my saddest memories. I lost my Father last October 4, 2015. He died on the day of my mother’s death Anniversary. My Mom died from a breast cancer last October 2012. Last night I remember both them, and I couldn’t help but cry. I wish they are still here. I love them so much, and I will forever remember them in my heart.