http://www.1101.com/MOTHER3/mp3.html (a theme of love).
Those are a few songs to set the mood for how I’m feeling as I write this. This is a very personal entry, one where I know that perhaps people will be unable to relate to or help with. There will be people who give me comments that are meant to offend and insult because they think it’s funny, and I will likely ignore them, but if those include “friends” who see this, that will be the end of our friendship. This is a way for others to see what’s up with me on their time, since I can’t bother or be bothered to take their time when this is something that won’t ever go away.
A year and a week ago is the anniversary of when my father started dying. He had left the ICU stubbornly about two weeks prior, insisting that the five strokes he suffered were minor and he just needed to be home to rest and recover. It didn’t help that he had diabetes and was still overworking himself. If only we all knew what would happen, things would be different, whether it was me flying back immediately to be with him or never leaving in the first place.
At the same time, I was with my cousin Nick, whom I had then introduced to his soon-to-be girlfriend in the same week. I remember it because we drove to Las Vegas and I got sick with the flu, and while resting, my father, who sounded sickly himself, called to see how I was.
It is now ten months later, and everything suddenly feels fresh. I’m constantly reminding myself that he’s not there anymore, and still coping with the fact that the home I had is gone. Home, for me, is not a place, but it’s wherever my father was, the most important person to me and the one person I loved and will love more than anyone else.
When I left in February, I remember how sad he was, our final trip to Hong Kong, father and son, alone. For years, I was resentful of how we could never be alone, that his girlfriend always had to join but she was never there when my younger sister was. My father reasoned that I am a young man, and should therefore have more maturity and control to deal with another woman, and be less selfish. Eventually, I felt myself grow distant because he constantly kept pushing me away as I saw it in favor of his work or his girlfriend, who ultimately didn’t care for him and just wanted his money.
During that trip to Hong Kong, I could see him getting sick, in retrospect. I also saw him as stressed and tired for such a short trip, but I also saw him hiding his loneliness and regret that I was leaving him again, after staying with him for six months. Had I known in a few months I would lose him, I would never have gone back to focus on going to graduate school and study for the GRE entrance exam, or to be back with a girlfriend who would only break up with me weeks later due to her inability to appreciate anything.
Moving back to this present moment, I am feeling the effects of the mourning period again. I no longer have someone to call odd hours of the night who would be fifteen hours away in Manila, someone who loved me as much as I loved him. No longer do I have the thought in mind that if life ever got too hard, in a few months, I’d return to him, to our apartment, and embrace him, then sit on the couch while he watched television. Even if I wasn’t watching, just being next to him was the most wonderful experience. There is something inside me that is gone, and that is the feeling that there is someone out there whom I love more than life itself, who feels the same way about me.
Most people whom I interact with know me for being the goofball, the optimist, the passionate and ambitious, energetic young man. It’s quite a contrast from the angry and pessimistic person I once was after a few bad decisions I made before in choice of lovers, friends, and life style. How do I manage to be more positive, ambitious, and driven after losing my father and the hell I went through last year? Simple answer: because if I am not, then I will not survive; the sorrow of being without my father is too overwhelming for me to handle.
Sometimes, late at night, when I’m home alone, I embrace my pillow, or get in fetal position. I can’t sleep, and I’m constantly remembering how lonely I feel. Although it would be nice to have someone to embrace, to rest my head on her lap, to hear her comfort me, who loves me as much as I love her, that is not something I can seek anymore. Why? Because I refuse to dump all my sorrows and problems on other people, who have their own to deal with. I do care about them and they do care about me, but at a certain point, I need to be stronger.
I need to be able to close my eyes and not wish for my father to be back or someone, I don’t know, maybe even delusional fantasy crushes like Ellen Wong, I don’t care, anyone, to be there, embrace me, and tell me everything’s going to be okay. I want to lay in her lap and close my eyes, let it all out, no need to hide or pretend to be strong, and have her stroke my hair to comfort me, letting me know I can finally rest and am cared for But the person I need to see is myself, as though I’m looking at a mirror. Instead of a reflection, it’s another body, a copy of me, allowing me to look at myself and love myself. Otherwise, I’m throwing a lot of expectations onto other people who do not have the capacity to give me the emotional support and comfort I need, as well as can not and do not want to.
Alone in the universe. What a thought. I do have a few friends who care, and they mean the world to me. But this is something that simply cannot be resolved just as easily. Those who insult me, make fun of me, try to say it’s all behind me and I should look forward, tell me what to do and how to do it–I don’t need those people, especially not as friends. Those whom I do have now I am glad give me the patience and understanding I need and want, which is precisely why I don’t want to bother them.
I actually feel like my father now, the more I think about it. He was busy doing everything for everyone, but could never communicate what he truly wanted. He came off as aloof, but fun and charming, and gave others the impression that he didn’t want any love or affection. Yet he craved it because he was constantly lonely and tired. The sad part: he was lonely because I wasn’t there.
We both had no home from constantly moving around and losing everything time and again. Over the years, we developed a bond so strong that as long as we had each other, it didn’t matter where we were, even a hotel room we shared in Hong Kong was home because we were both there. He wanted to be in control and set a good example, and nobody could help him since everyone came to him for help. Now I’m just someone who doesn’t want to rely on anybody or trouble them, even if I have the option to get help. This is only for the time being though, because I just want to be stronger, and can’t expect help from people who can’t provide it, nor can I keep running to them for help.
I would give up anything to have him back. Cut off all my limbs, never be successful, never be loved, have nothing–whatever it takes, to have him back is all I desire. No woman can love me enough, and no friend can give me what I miss about my father. He is truly the one I love more than anything and anyone else.
Where I go from here, who knows? I will continue fighting to be successful. My father feared I would become a failure, which is why I can’t let his sacrifice go in vain. My friend D sacrificed as well. I have friends who do love me. I refuse to fail. I love you dad. Rest in peace.