A Tribute to Daddy

NOTE: More than three years ago I wrote “A Tribute for Mommy” for Mother’s Day. I meant to write one for daddy too but I never got to doing it until he passed away last month. I don’t know why but that fateful day of September 29, 2011, I thought of writing one because I was afraid he wouldn’t be able to read it. True enough, he wasn’t able to because that same day, he went home to be with the Lord.

I didn’t have a hard time writing this piece. I didn’t expect it to be a eulogy for him too. I was laughing and crying the whole time I was writing this long entry. It was probably the first time I really cried hard since he died which was only after two days.

Remembering my Daddy Pete wasn’t painful at all. In fact, it was very easy to do for he left us with plenty of good memories. I can honestly say that I, together with my parents and siblings, had a very good relationship with him. He made sure that our family always had good memories to share and remember.

Writing helps me cope up with grief. I have yet to write about his last days but for now, here is a tribute– my dad’s many stories of faith, hope, and love– a life lived for the greater glory of God.

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My first memory of you was you making me sit on top of a swinging door we once had at home. I was crying because I was too afraid I might fall down. I remember you laughing as you were just playing with me.

On my 6th birthday, I remember you picked me up from school, brought a lot of newspapers as we had a fundraising. I felt super proud because I thought my parents were very generous.

You were my tutor. You were the one I’d ask for help in math. I won’t forget the time you taught me how to do metric conversions at grade 3. I could not get it, with your loud voice I got scared, but then i learned how to do it.

I used to be afraid of you probably because you were  tall, big, and had a very loud voice. Hearing your deep voice was too scary for any little girl. That instilled discipline in me…in us, though. I think that started the fear in me to be obedient, respectful, and not do anything that would upset you.

You would bring me, ate, and Enoch to school every single day all throughout our elementary and high school in your old beat up Passat, Corona, and Sentra. When I was in second year, you’d pick me up everyday at 4 pm except for Thursday when it’s coding. You would help me in all my art projects. I was especially proud that my dad knew how to draw because my projects would always turn out professionally done. You were more than an artist or a painter for me. You were my all-around-guy. I thought you were superman because you were very strong and could fix and do anything with your hands. Of course, you were an architect. And to tell you honestly, I got that being handy from you. I’m Mrs. Fix-it.

Every morning on our way to school, you never failed to pray for us. I remember your tuning the radio to “Hardin ng Panalangin” every morning while in the car. There were times when I dreaded  prayer time because I just wanted to sleep. There was a time when a neighbor would regularly join us on our way to school, I secretly wished you wouldn’t pray because I was too shy. But you weren’t…you were even glad to pray for that schoolmate. It was then I realized that there really is nothing to be ashamed of— our faith in God.

I know you were very proud of me. You would brag about my being on top of our class. My highschool graduation was more memorable because you got your chance to hang my medals for it was always mommy who did it every year.

College was just a blur for me but I will never forget the time you brought me to school in your elf truck. I woke up late for an exam but you managed to bring me to school, from Mandaluyong to Diliman only within 15 minutes….driving a truck. I found it too funny and cool at the same time, because some police stopped you at the checkpoint. Trucks weren’t allowed inside the campus but we got through. What college kid gets to school in a truck? Only me!

You really were my constant driver. You’d bring me to Greenhills and Ortigas every morning when you could even at 530 am. Or pick me up from the office especially when it’s late. You always drove fast and I found it super cool.

I’d always remember you for being a servant of God. You were part of the choir, the Married Couples Fellowship, the Men’s. You once were part of a Children’s Choir presentation. Who could forget the time that you played a bear and sang pompopom. I’ll also never forget when you asked me to sit in front of the audience so I could guide your timing. You were singing solo at a 4pm service.

You set the standard in my looking for a husband.I remember you telling me not to have a boyfriend while in school. And that when I do, that I not do anything that would displease God. You didn’t say “that would dishonor me (you)…but God. It’s one of the reasons why I only had a boyfriend. You guarded and guided my heart and I thank you for that.

Remember the time when I asked permission from you if I could have someone special in my life? I went inside your room, hugged you and asked the question. Your only response, “Mabait naman si Joshua.” That was my signal so the next week, I gave him my precious yes.

You were a big part of my and Joshua’s relationship.  I knew you trusted us. I knew you liked Joshua for me. I know you respect him and loved him. I’ll never forget what you said during our pamamanhikan. He asked if he could formally have my hand in marriage…you only replied with a “Good riddance”.

Some things changed when you had a mild stroke five years ago. I can still clearly remember that night you were admitted at the ICU, I stayed with you. It was painful for me because I could not see you and I was out there in an empty waiting room. I was too scared then. I was afraid you’d go but somehow I knew it wasn’t time yet. The next day, Joshua stayed with me at the hospital until midnight. I told him that my dad would still live to walk me down the aisle and see his apo. True enough, God granted our prayers that night for the next day, you were ready to be removed from the ICU.

But then you had to undergo some therapy. Seeing you weak was all too painful but you showed us that you could recover. We could see hope in your eyes. You fought. You managed to walk straight and talk clearly again because you simply did not give up. Of course, you never regained your old macho self but you showed that one can still survive a heart attack. You were physically weak but I knew that inside you were very strong. You fought for us. You lived five more years for us. You continued to serve God. You even managed to construct a building, an apartment, and did few renovations for family and friends.

Daddy, you were there in some of the most significant events in my life. You were never absent in my growing up years, you were there at my wedding, my pregnancy, Noah’s birthday and his many firsts. You’ve always been there for me, Joshua, and Noah. You’ve always been there for our family.

Joshua will never forget the time you called him before he left for Canada. I found it too sweet that you asked mommy to call him and say “ingat”.  You not only cared for me but also for my husband whom you treat as your own son. And when he came back, mommy told me that you wanted to go to our house that same night and welcome him back.

I will never forget how you’d play with Noah: peekaboo, 123, and him drumming your tummy. Or the times he’d just sit beside you whenever Rambo (the dog) would start to come near him.

You were a good provider. You were such a great father. You were a great husband. You were a great father-in-law.  You were a good tito. People will surely miss Mang Pete.

Some may say you did not do well as an architect because we’re not rich and we don’t have a big house but there are reasons for that. You spent all your money for our good and our enjoyment. We know you spent your resources well to give us a comfortable and happy life. You sent us to good schools, drove us everywhere. I will always remember Fridays at Megamall with the family. You’d pick us up from school still in our school uniform, to treat us at Wendy’s or Sbarro, take us ice skating, shopping, or watch a movie. You spent your money making great many memories for us to forever cherish. Not all kids could say that but we can…I can say that I have great memories with my dad and family.

We may not be rich but you lived life to the fullest. That is why I am more than joyful than sorrowful now for I know you are already having a blast in heaven. And besides, we had a very wonderful relationship. You were never ashamed to express your love for us in many different ways. No regrets. No if onlys. Only life treasures. Only lessons. Only good memories.

Thank you, Daddy. I owe my life to you, my education. How you raised us in faith and love. How you taught us how to love God. I love you very much. We praise the Lord for you. Your life is a legacy of someone who really loves God. I want to be that kind of person who’s never afraid to tell others of Christ. That faithful servant…

We will surely miss you but the memories you left u..the memories we have with you and God’s Peace will keep us through. I say thank you Daddy. I love you.

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