Sunday, 10 January 2010

MISSING PIECE

In my growing years, I have always been astonished by families who go to church on Sunday and kiss each other as a sign of peace during mass.. Until now, I have always been touched during weddings as the bride marches to the altar to meet the groom, and a debutant on her last dance with a man so called “father”...I have been blessed all my life but I haven’t felt the true meaning of the word. This has been the missing piece in our life…

I can still remember when I was 10 years old when my dad left for the states to work. I’m really not close to him but I can still remember the short time I, and my brother had with him. For some reasons, our parents’ marriage didn’t work out. Since then, our father didn’t communicate with us anymore. My mom tread paths of raising me and my brother.. I felt anger and hatred at time because at our age that is the only feeling you need to have in order not to pain. I have lots of questions which in my young mind cannot contain. My brother and I grew up anticipating that somehow there will come a time to have a glimpse of dad… This never came…

The hoping years ended, and came the acceptance that it will not come anymore..

As years passed, mom reaped the fruits of her labor of being a single parent. We have our own families now, and where we are now is because of her.. She taught us to be strong and not to become a victim of any painful circumstances. She had perfectly filled the missing piece.. Time really heals, and as it passes, the thought and the hope of seeing or hearing dad didn’t even cross my mind..

Until August 2007 came.. I was assigned to go to US for an event. With that, I took the chance of searching for my dad. I went to Los Angeles with my cousins to search for him. I had mixed feelings. I am afraid that another rejection would relive my anger again. I don’t know the words which I have to say, a lot of things running my mind and I am continuously praying that at least he may have the guts to acknowledge me.

August 19, 2007 the plane American Airlines touched down LAX. Straight from the airport, we took a long drive to Lancaster. Mile per mile my heart is pounding faster and faster. I can’t seem to find a perfect sitting position as my cousin norjelyn drives. After two hours or so, we finally reached Lancaster. This is his place. It was a house at the corner of the street. I still can’t believe that it is happening.. my hands are sweating as my cousin parked at the front of his house. I prodded myself heavily as we come near the door of their house. This will end my years of anticipation.. I just wanted to have a glimpse of him.. Norjelyn knock into the door as I sit on the bench outside the door. A man opened the door and asked her to come in. It was him. He was ultimately shocked to see me.. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel anything. He was a complete stranger to me except for the fact that his face, hands, feet resembles mine. He welcomed us and introduced us to his partner..” ma, si nor, si ica, atsaka si JO.., Jo Kristine”. I don’t want to reveal any of my emotions but I finally heard my name from the man who gave it to me. It was a complete silence while we were on his house.. It was hard to bridge the long gap. I can’t even look into his eyes and ask him how he is. It was already late so we decided to stay overnight.

The next morning, he prepared breakfast for us. Both of us can’t find the right topic to even start a conversation. After eating, my cousin and I went to the room and I asked them that I wanted to talk to dad. I will never let this opportunity pass..

He was in the kitchen washing the dishes when I approached him. .It was this time that I have seen him this close and face to face. The lines on his face, the thinning hair and his teeth were a clear sign that he has grown old since the last time that I have been face to face with him when I was ten years old.. I broke the silence as I told him “ daddy, pwede ba kitang yakapin?” The stranger who opened the door when I came in broke down into tears, embraced me so tightly and said, “ anak patawarin nyo ako..” words that I have been longing to hear all my life.. with so many questions and so little time, the only thing that came in my mind is to ask him ” naalala mo pa ba kami ni osep?, twenty years na hindi tayo nag usap, baka hindi mo na kami kilala, kinalimutan mo na kami” . His voice breaks as he said, “ walang araw ng buhay ko na nawala kayo ni osep dito sa puso ko.” I broke down and felt his words sincerely.. There were a lot of questions unanswered, but these were his words that I am now holding on all the days of my life since I came to see him.. I know that my dad had a lot of hard times and pain, much more than what we had when he left us.. I don’t know if I will ever see or talk to him again. Only God knows. I talk to him in prayer where no boundaries can hinder. We have different lives now… but the words that he said are enough to say that I have found the missing piece in my life..