it was a saturday morning, 9:30am.. it happened february 23,1997..we just visited her in the hospital 5 days before that, and then we received a call about her going home… eventually leaving us….one last call made my dad decide that it was time for all of us to go home in cavite city….to go home to lola gondeng and see her for the last time.. we arrived there, lola gondeng still in the funeral parlor..we were all waiting in the house.. first night of the wake everybody was there.. all her sons and daughters were there.. the fightings…the disagreements were forgotten.. all the grandchildren were there…even my mom was there…..lola gondeng died of cardiac arrest, complication due to being diabetic…..weeks before her death she’s really not that well, i guess its also the old age. she’s been in and out of the hospital weeks before that..then that saturday morning im not sure if it was her children who decided to take her home or was it her own decision. cant hardly remember..lola gondeng’s going away was like a family reunion affair to us.. cause that was the only time na the whole family.. even the extended family was there…….parang nakakainis isipin na ang naging dahilan ng pagkikita-kita at pagsasama-sama ng pamilya ay ang pagkawala ng isang miyembro natin. kung iisipin, bakit kailangan na mawala ang isa bago nila maisip na magsama-sama..
sunday morning, me, my mom, my sister, my half sister and her kids…were to go home to tagaytay.. cause exams the following day.. dad stayed behind, but i was asked to come back monday night to help out… so, we made preparations for the travel back home..hindi ugali ng tatay ko na magtanong kung may pera pa ako.. dahil sa totoo lang, nuknukan ng kuripot ang aking butihing ama..
4:30am.. february 24, 1997
P: bakit hindi ka pa natutulog? maaga pa byahe nyo pauwi bukas, magreview ka pa. magpahinga ka na..(normally hindi nya sinasabi yan, sanay na akong wala syang pakialam)
me: hindi pa poh ako inaantok eh..
P: umakyat ka na dun at magpahinga.. cgeh na.(nakapagtataka talga!)
9:00am february 24, 1997
me: pa, alis na daw kami..
P: cgeh, ingat kayo, may pera ka pa ba jan? may allowance ka pa?
me: meron pa naman poh
(dukot sa wallet.. gave me 500..shempre, tanggap naman ako.. minsan lang namna un..not knowing na yun na pala ung last time na he’ll be giving me money)
P: si ate mo tanungin mo nga kung kailangan nya ng pera.. ah.. hindi na. ibigay mo na alng to..
(dukot ng 2k sa wallet…at ams lalong nakpagtataka.. pinakamataas na amount an binibigay nya eh 1k.. masama pa loob nyan with lots of sermons pa.)
and then we went home…
i remembered, naiwan pa ako nun sa bus kasi nakatulog ako.. with headset.. kaya nung bumaba sila at tinawag nila ako. hindi ko anrinig akala naman nila nakasunod ako sa knila..nagisisng ako, baclaran na ..i was asking the woman beside me where the hell was SM bacoor.. ahihihihi
i got home. i thought they were there already un pala hinintay pa nila ako.. dumating sila i was ironing out school uniforms already.
8:00pm, my half bro called. tolfd us to come back quickly sinugod daw sa hospital my dad..napraning ang nanay ko.. paghagilap ng sasakyan and everything..finally nakahanap, lumayas kami… dali-dali..halos paliparin ung sasakyan…..it was past 9 in the evening when we arrived there.. i texted my bro..
“kuya, d2 na kami cavite city, san ba banda ung bautista hospital?”
my bro replied:
“dito na lang kayo sumunod sa funeraria alvarez..alam mo naman kung san to diba?”
its like for 5 whole minutes my world stopped..its like everything around me doesnt exist. it took me some time to absorb the text message i received. my half sis half to slap me para makausap ako ng ayos.. my mom was waiting for my answer..i couldnt tell her..i couldnt think of the right words to tell her that he’s gone..what i did was, i gave my mobile to her and let her read the text. i looked away…i heard my mom cried.. nalaman ng lahat ng nasa sasakyan kung ano ang nangyari..
nagpahatid ako sa bahay, where my lola’s remains were.. hindi ako sumama sa funeraria..i told them ill just wait for them. i didnt cry..i didnt go with them cos i dont wanna see my dad..the whoel night i didnt cry..
dad died of cardiac arrest…complication due to being diabetic, just like my lola gondeng he died february 24, 1997, 9:30pm…
when dad’s body arrived at home….still having second thoughts whether to look at him or not..(ive fear sa mga patay.. hindi ako pumupunta sa mga lamay at hindi rin ako sumisilip kasi binabangungot ako..but this time, ive to.. its my dad inside…)
i took a deep breath..walked towards my dad’s coffin..(right now im trying to remember what was the color of my dad’s coffin, and i couldnt remember) sinilip ko sya..at first there were no emotions.. i couldnt feel anything.. pero nung nagtagal na nakatitig ako sa knya, naramdaman ko na alng na my tears already flowing..i coudlnt stop them from falling..
that was the first and last time i cried all through out the wake and burial.
later, i realized why i cried..( i cried too much that time.. i didnt leave the same spot for 2 whole hours and i was crying) i cried not because i lost a father, i cried because i lost a “father” when in my 16 years in life i wasnt able to feel na may tatay ako.. umiiyak ako sa kadahilanang umalis sya ng hindi nya pinapatikim sakin how it feels to have a dad..
i cried because he came and left without leaving a trace in my heart….