On Its Second Year

 

It is true what they say. In time you will no longer feel much pain. You will keep moving. You’ll finally get used to the absence.

As much as I love him,  I try not to dwell on the thought that we lost him. I try to see it in a different perspective. He lives in us, we carry him in our hearts.

I still cry but not as much as I did. When he crosses my mind I feel sad but I feel much stronger now.

Although there are moments when I can’t help the tears especially when things around me bring vivid memories of him.

Like last night my kids were playing with their Dad. My little girl was walking on his back and saying that she’s giving him a massage. I remembered during our younger days when we would do the same. Tears fell from my eyes.

Just a while ago when we were watching one of our favorite comedy shows, if featured the 1980 something show called Knight Rider. I remembered the talking black car called KITT, that drove super fast, was bulletproof, fireproof, and helped Michael fought injustices in the world. It brought up some childhood memories. My siblings and I were fond of the super powered car that we named our family car, Kit. If I remember it right, our father even put up a moving light in front of our car pretending that we’re really driving Kit! Something like this:

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Every morning, to wake up my kids, I put up the curtain and let the sunlight into our bedroom. I talk to them or sing to them just the way our old man did.

I know there will be more reminders along the way. One clear proof that our love ones continue to live…

 

 

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The Last Father’s Day

It’s been a while since I last dreamed of my father. There are days when I still can’t believe he is gone. I miss him in so many ways. I try my best not to have my thoughts dwell on him. I even try to avoid looking at his photos. It just makes me cry inside and out.

Few nights ago, I finally had a dream of him. I saw him wearing a royal blue colored garment. He was driving, and I was at the back seat. We had a conversation about how my 2 year old niece got a visa and would be visiting me soon. We were on our way to the church. We parked and I stayed outside talking to some members of the choir while he went ahead inside. Then I saw him sitting and looking out as if signaling me to come in. Then it was blank.

I told my sister that I dreamed of our Tatay (Father). She was amazed because some few days before, she visited his grave. She was telling her baby girl to tell Tatay that she got a visa and would be visiting me soon! What a coincidence we thought!

Another thing. I did not tell my sister the details of my dream but the next day she dreamed of Tatay  twice. The second dream’s scene was at the church too. Tatay was wearing something blue just like in my dream. My sister was with some choir members because they were preparing for a song presentation, a tribute to the families. She was crying because of the song, “Minsan Lang Kitang Iibigin”. Our Tatay was there, alive. I did not tell her the details of my dream. We were both surprised to see some resemblance. His blue clothes. The church scene. Choir members.

Then we thought… Father’s Day is coming up soon. I told my 7 year old son about our dreams and he said, “Tatay just wants to be with you because it’s almost Father’s Day. He can’t anymore so he just visits you in your dreams.”

Now my heart feels so gloomy like the weather outside. I recall last year’s Father’s Day (June 2015). I do not remember what we talked about on the phone but I remember feeling very happy. We talked longer than usual about just anything. And I know I was able to express to him how much I love him. And I never imagined that it would be his last Father’s Day on Earth.

I will forever carry and cherish him in my heart. I wish love is felt across time. I hope he will always feel our love.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads in the world. If you still have him, you got to let him know and feel how much he means to you…

I just saw this commercial earlier and would just want to share with you. Let us remember all the Dads in the world especially the ones who are working very hard to give their families better lives.

 

 

 

 

It’s Your Birthday

After we dropped off my son to school, my baby girl and I swung by the store and got a balloon. She picked a purple balloon shaped as a heart. We headed to the church and said a prayer. I found a petition book close to the altar and started writing my prayer for today.

I said, “Dear God please kiss my dad for me and wish him a happy birthday. Tell him we miss him everyday and we love him. May our love see him through. I will see you someday.” I could not help the tears when I was writing my prayer. This is his first birthday in heaven. His presence is truly missed. I remembered telling him last Father’s Day (in June) that I will come for his birthday this year. And I will never forget how he said “Ok, I’ll be here. I’ll be here.” I was heart broken because I am thinking I should have gone see him last year. If I had known it would be his last. I guess I have to just let that one go.

Came home after church. I cooked a Filipino meal which is usually served when there are parties. This afternoon I will cook Pancit Bihon and try to bake some Puto Yema. Most importantly, a candle was lit for him. Our thoughts are with him. Prayers are said for him.

Eternal rest grant unto the soul of Hermoso Tan Lazaro and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul rest in peace…

 

Until The Day We Meet

Today is the second week we first saw him in the coffin. 
It was the first day of wake. 
My mind can not stop going back to memories of the past. I always remember exactly a month ago I spoke to him. Two weeks ago, a week ago this and that happened.
I know I will never be able to keep up with time. Soon I will stop thinking how many days, weeks or months have passed. I know the time will come when I will just look forward…just what he wants us all to do. 
The pain will slowly go away but the love for my father will remain. It will be within me until I see him again…

A Tribute To The Man

It was an emergency. Seven months ago, my father had an operation. His appendix already burst for days. So when they found out, he needed to undergo surgery right away. It was bad since it could cause infection to other organs of the body, besides the fact that he is diabetic, has kidney & heart concerns. The scariest for me was the delusions. He was acting confused, seeing things, slurred speech, his odd behaviors. He suffered from stroke in a particular area on his brain causing the symptoms mentioned. Concerning my parents, so far, this has been the most terrifying experience.

As I heard the updates from my brother and sisters, I was  really affected. I was thousand miles away. Days passed by and he was still in the Intensive Care Unit.  I spoke to my husband and I needed to come home to see him. When your love one is in pain, at least you want to be there physically to comfort them. I decided I had to fly with my kids. My husband had to stay for work. The travel was not easy.  I just found out that my 2 year old has fear of heights. She was crying the whole time in the flight and she could not stand the altitude. I felt so sorry for my baby girl. It was really a sacrifice. Thank God my mom came with me to help me.

We arrived in Manila. That day I went to see my father in the hospital. He lost so much weight. He looked really bad. It was the first time I saw him so sick and weak, and it was totally heartbreaking. We prayed over him, we were visiting everyday. I brought my kids, and he saw my little girl for the first time. My son would sing to him and hold his hands. With lots of love and prayers, finally  he was sent home. He was cleared by his doctors. I was glad that we still had three weeks to take care of him at home. Literally, he had too much medicines to take round the clock (around 30 kinds). I had to make a list of schedule.  I was hands on. It was my honor to take care of him. I believe with the family’s love, support, and prayers, he survived and he got better. Before we left for the States, he was already walking (with support) and his speech was already clear.

Now, we keep in touch through texting, phone calls, video calls. I always ask God to grant my parents longer lives so we can still let them feel our love, our gratitude for giving us life. Surely, they are not perfect! They have flaws. Not all memories with parents are good (at least for me). But I know that they have done their best. They did what they can. And they will always be a part of me.  I am an extension of them. They will live in me.

My Tatay (Filipino term for father) will celebrate his birthday two months from now. He is turning 82 years old. I thank God for giving him another chance to live. Another year. And more years to come. I just want to recognize him, while he is still around.

Recently, my father was acknowledged by our City. He was one of the recipients of the “Dangal ng Bacoor (Honor/Pride of Bacoor, our hometown in the Philippines). This is the second time he received the same award. I checked websites if there was an article  written about it. There was one, but they only mentioned the famous celebrities who were recipients too. So here is my chance to include my father,  Atty. Hermoso Tan Lazaro.  “Dangal ng Bacoor” – an event that recognized the achievements of its local sons and daughters in various fields, among them Eric Buhain for sports, Diether Ocampo and Marian Rivera for the entertainment industry; former Supreme Court Chief Justice Manuel Pamaran; former Department of Justice Secretary Serafin Cuevas; and former Interior and Local Government Secretary Cesar Sarino.” (http://mbpublications.com/cruise/2008/11/11/bacoors-bounty/). My father is not famous. He is not a public figure, but he was chosen to be a recipient of this award. That makes it more special!

Hermoso Tan Lazaro  was born on March 11, 1933 in Cavite, Philippines. Son of Atty. Dominador Guinto Lazaro and Tomasa Sanchez Tan. He is a younger brother to Dr. Lourdes Tan Zebell. His sister pursued her medical career in the United States in her early 20’s.

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He went to FEU Law School and passed the bar exam. He was accepted in the National Bureau of Investigation (counterpart of FBI here in the States) and worked his way up the ladder. From being an agent chasing the bad guys, he became Assistant Director of the Bureau when he retired. He also got a training in Quantico Virginia (http://www.mocavo.com/Directory-of-Graduates-of-the-Fbi-National-Academy-and-Officers-of-the-Fbi-National-Academy-Associates-1997-98/121011/669).  I believe he spent more than 50 years of his life serving in the Bureau (I will have to call them for exact details). I remember when I was little we would go on vacation in different provinces where he was assigned to work as Regional Director. In high school, he had his office in Manila. Sometimes I would come to visit after class.

Remembering my father, he was good looking, strong, mighty, tough, intimidating, dominant, powerful, dignified. Clearly, he was an achiever.  Other than that, to us,  he was a good father. He did a great job protecting us and providing everything that we need. I have funny memories of him too (particularly his corny jokes). Now that he is old, physically weak, he needs to know that his legacy will not be forgotten. He will look the same to us forever, and that we will always be proud of him!

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