Today I celebrate the birthday of the most influential man in my life. He was part of it for 24 years until he decided to stop being one. He gave me half my DNAs as a baby, took my pictures when I was born, brought me to school on my first day, and gave me my first set of story books to read. He was my hero.
But like some heroes out there, he decided to stop being one.
I can spend hours here writing about the things he did to me that made life miserable. And I can spend years searching for answers to the never ending whys and what happened. But I choose not to.Instead I'd like to spend a few moments to remember him--the man he used to be-- before he left.
As a little girl I always yearned to be his little princess. But I turned out to be his little tomboy. When I asked for Barbie he gave me a set of priceless remote controlled cars. When I asked for stationeries and kikay stuff, he brought home toy guns instead. He taught me how to fix the car and be the house handyman (and im eternally grateful for that otherwise we'd be doomed in the house when he left). He took me hunting and taught me how to fire a gun (and be a responsible owner). He taught me to love school and gave me my first real job.
He could do no wrong in my eyes then. Despite knowing about his dark side he was still my hero.
The other day I thought about him and I asked myself how I'd like to remember him and found myself remembering the times..
...he took endless pictures of me as a baby.
...he read me my favorite stories.
...he hugged me the day I got run over by a tryke.
...we trained for archery and won two medals together.
...we had our last firing session and he was so proud about how I shot the clip of the coconut shell.
...we fixed our door and spent hours carving the hole to fit the new lock. My hands hurt like hell but we did it.
...he took me hunting with lolo and our target shooting in the backyard.
...he accompanied me to the hospital for my blood checkups.
...he searched for blood donors to save my life
...he taught me how to drive the car
...he brought home pasalubong from his trips
...he bought me tickets to Lea Salonga's Miss Saigon
...our last dinner together--Nov. 17, 2001
Those are the times I'd like to remember him by. Nothing more. Some people ask me how come I never hated him for what he did. And I have a simple answer to that.
I choose to think of him as if he passed away- And the man who remains is just someone who looked like him--or should I say was once him. I want to keep my happy memories intact and leave the sad ones behind.
So happy birthday to the memory of him. And happy birthday to the man he used to be-- The Man who I used to call my Dad.