I dare you to figure me out!
Hello readers! If you are a regular visitor in my site I guess you’ve already read that line. It might sound like a challenge but it’s more than that to me. Actually, reality just hit me now. It’s not your duty to discern me- my thoughts, fears, aspirations, joys, and pains. It’s my solitary task to discover and rediscover that veiled truths in me.
And today I shall take the first few steps.
I once cursed my father. You heard it right. But before you condemn me, please take a listen first.
Twenty two years ago, I was six years old then, I could copiously remember what kind of life we had. We resided in the small barrio of Naujan, the biggest town in the province consisting of roughly 70 barangays. To make a living, dwellers had to plow their fields and plant various crops such as corn, rice and fruit-bearing trees.
Life was not easy then, my father was a typical farmer, a tenant of a little four-hectare parcel. And my mother, a plain housewife busying herself in the different household chores and other farming duties which was unusual for a woman of her age. I salute my mom for doing manly tasks beyond her strength just to abridge the situation. Confronted with the nasty realities of life, making both ends meet was nearly possible.
Perhaps you’ve read this in my post “Childhood’s Rumination”. But I skipped something. No! I intentionally avoided it.
So here I am staring nervously in front of my computer thinking if I can muster narrating this story. Breathe in…Breathe out…Here it goes.
I had a father, a hardworking and responsible man, but not sweet and loving compared to some men I’ve known. He was different. My mom had been a battered wife, and we, his children,had been physically and emotionally battered as well.
I could still remember every time we eat our meals. He would often chide me for not eating fast at his own pace. Needless to say, he’d shout at me on top of his voice telling me to put my food onto my mouth, ears and eyes so I could finish them instantly. And that made me lethargic and despondent.
One sizzling summer, our family went to the beach just to escape from the strenuous works of the homestead. I was truly overjoyed that I bolted from his reproaches even for a day. He had a good mood perhaps. Unfortunately, we went home early because of the unfriendly weather so my father just continued his favorite drink at home. Before he emptied another glass, he called my attention to get his cigarettes upstairs and look after the salted fish he was cooking in the kitchen.
I searched for it as fast I could but the problem was, I couldn’t find his cigarettes everywhere. It took me an hour to finally locate it under my parents’ bed. So I went down hastily to hand it to him. But I was late, he was too furious as he took the cigarette from me. Oh my god! The salted fish was left unattended and it turned to black. He grumpily blamed me for what happened and asked me to stay out of the house. So I went out.
It was nearly 8 o’clock then and I was patiently waiting if they would ask me to come in. But no one did. No one cared. Tragically, the rain started to pour as thunder and lightning frightened me. I hid in the foul-smelling and tapered doghouse adjacent to my neighbor’s house. For once, I experienced to be a hound and it wasn’t funny. In that very moment, I rebuked and cursed him in my mind. I even pronounced his death in the rain because of too much wrath in my heart.
Yes! I was once a bad daughter.
However, when he died a little over fifteen years ago, I learned to forgive him from all the pains that he had inflicted to our family. I learned to forgive myself too.
As I write this confession, I realized how much he loved me. He had his identifiable way of showing it but he did love me.
During meals, he trained me to eat fast so I could use my time wisely. He was a hardworking man so he valued every second and minute of it. “Eat fast and early to get ready for the day’s drudgery”, this had been his motto and I eventually tailed it.
When he sent me out that night, I knew he wanted me to discover something. Perhaps that is to keep an eye on what’s important and to learn that multitasking should not be used as an excuse to failure. Oddly, I realized that I have been already living up to my dad’s principle. He put me through difficulties at an earlier time so now that he’s gone I can soar high like an eagle without being scared to fall.
And for that, I will always be grateful because he is my father.