Last Sunday night I decided to write a Father’s Day article for this week. That may be the reason why I had the weirdest dream about my father. Here’s my dream:
Papang is alive! He’s not his Jolly Pinong self but the thin weak Papang lying on bed, albeit still trying hard to crack his corny jokes. “How are you Pang?” I ask, to which he answers, “Ma-byuti! I’m fine thank me!” as he smiles showing off some toothless spaces in his mouth because he refuses to wear his dentures.
I was so happy to see him alive again but I didn’t do anything different, no big celebrations, no crying, no big fuss. Then I realize that he’s going to die soon. Then he dies.
Then he’s alive again. We go through the same kumustahan.
I felt sad because I knew he was going to die again.
So I talked to God and said, “Lord, thank you for these two chances to see Papang alive again. But I think it’s not fair for him to experience dying over and over again, not to mention my own grief of losing him over and over again. So, it’s okay for you to have him now, forever.”
I woke up feeling really weird. I tried to make sense of my dream. I thought of his last years with us.
You know how it wasn’t really usual for parents to say, “I love you” to their children back in my copong-copong growing up years in the 60s and 70s? My parents were the same. They really showed us how much they loved us growing up but with no verbal expressions on a daily basis. In the same way, I didn’t say, “I love you” everyday, just in my cards and letters, but I worked hard as a student to bring home honors as a sign of my love and appreciation for their parental love and devotion. I did my assigned chores, and tried to be mabait even if I was sort of labeled as the stubborn child.
However, when I got married in my 20s I noticed that they would start verbalizing their love expressions to us, especially Papang. Each phone call would end up with “I love you!” Goodbyes would always include kiss on the forehead and, “I love you, call us when you get home so I know you’re home safely. When will you visit again?”
On my end, I always replied with “Luv you too Nong-pi (his other nickname) or Father dear!” Most of the time, it would be followed with, “Pang, is there anything else you want to do? Are you happy with your life?” He always answered, “Just seeing you all makes me happy.” I did give him valuable gifts that I knew would make him happy, especially because I would take away the pain of paying from my Ilocano father who always said, “Nagngina!” (Too expensive!) whenever he saw the price tag of anything. 😊
So I said to myself, “Maybe my dream is just a reaction to recent deaths of people around me – some untimely, some expected.” Then I felt happy to realize that I don’t have any regrets when it comes to my relationship with my father and mother, despite being a stubborn child back in my younger days. 😊
Happy Father’s Day in heaven Papang! Please send my love to Mamang.
The father of my sons
My generation parents their children with lots of “I love you’s,” hugs, and affirmations, and that’s what my sons had growing up. In return, they also respond in the same way. What I love most about our relationship with our children is the open communication – both the positive, cheerleading kind, and the difficult sometimes messy conversations.
We know that our opinions of each other matter because we’re the ones who really want each other to succeed and be happy, no hidden agenda. We are critical of each other, and we also honor each other.
For this Father’s Day week, I wish to honor the father of my sons. I asked Martin, Enrique, and Anton to answer these questions.
- What is your fondest memory of Papa?
Martin: “Watching movies, just the two of us, or TV series. Oh, and laughing at the interesting display of incompetence by some people.” 😊
Enrique: “One-on-one lunches and bonding over sports. Best memory would be when he literally ran beside me holding on to my bike as I learned how to ride the bike without training wheels. At one point, he let me go and I remember feeling like ‘the king of the world’ shouting out with pride as I could now ride my bike without the training wheels!”
Anton: “Playing games/sports with him. I remember one specific day we spent together at the mall – he bought me one of my first pairs of basketball shoes and we spent the afternoon playing in Time Zone the game Time Crisis and we finished it!”
- What is the greatest life lesson you learned from Papa?
Martin: “Sometimes it’s more important to be kind than to be right. Also, the value of relationship with your wife. Once that’s okay, the rest will follow.”
Enrique: “Help others even if you don’t need them. That way, they would be so happy to help you if ever you become the one in need in the future.”
Anton: “You lead and teach by example. He taught us many values and life lessons, but the greatest one will always be how he lives his life with love. It is always an example to me on how to live a good life.”
- What are you most proud of about Papa?
Martin: “It’s easy to be proud of Papa. He does what he says even if it’s hassle because he already said it.”
Enrique: “He reached the peak of his career early and could have stayed there comfortably. Instead, he took the harder path and now focuses his time and energy to help the ‘little guy.’”
Anton: He’s a great father and husband. He always makes time for family and gets to have a successful career. I wish to do the same as I grow old.”
- What’s your Father’s Day message for Papa?
Martin: “Be braver, be bolder. You still got a long way to go, and I am here behind you 100%!”
Enrique: “Happy Father’s Day Pa! Thank you for being the great role model you are, balancing a purposeful career, a happy marriage and a loving family. Love you Pa!”
Anton: “Happy Father’s Day Pa! Thank you for paving the way for us three, even before we were born. I hope to honor your name and legacy with my life. 😊 Love you!”
I’m sure my husband will be so thrilled to read this article. Maybe the main message of today’s article is to honor thy father. Usually, the mother is the one depicted as the ilaw ng tahanan, lead character with a lot of emotions, goodwill attached to her role in the family. But you see, the father’s role is just as important. He may not be as “emo” as his female counterpart but he sure does need all the words of love and appreciation. So, go greet and honor your father now!
Happy Father’s Day to all daddies out there!
- Mom and Son Podcast Season 2 Episode 11 – (WHAT DANCE HAS DONE FOR ME)
This week’s podcast episode discusses the impact and lessons that Anton has learned from dancing, how it started as a hobby back in his grade school and continues to impact his career up to now. We encourage everyone to find these self-defining and life-changing hobbies that ultimately affect and influence your careers and lives.
For any questions and comments, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Rose Fres Fausto is a speaker and author of bestselling books Raising Pinoy Boys and The Retelling of The Richest Man in Babylon (English and Filipino versions). Click this link to read samples – Books of FQ Mom. She is a Behavioral Economist, Certified Gallup Strengths Coach and the grand prize winner of the first Sinag Financial Literacy Digital Journalism Awards. Follow her on Facebook & YouTube as FQ Mom, and Twitter & Instagram as theFQMom. Her latest book is FQ: The nth Intelligence.
Photos from freepik.com and unsplash.com modified and used to help deliver the message of the article.