LOTS of things hurt. Recently, a very trusted person whom I have been loyal to for years accused me of doing things that even God knows I am not capable of doing. It felt like I was bleeding to death and my soul was weeping. It seems like the night will never ever have stars to give light to night. But there is one thing that hurts the most.
I knew him for 41 long years. This guy had been part of my entire lifetime. He was naughty and a disciplinarian but task-oriented and intelligent. He was a perfectionist and I always had a fear of not meeting his expectations and so, although I respected him a lot, I had kept my distance from him. I remembered how he can make me laugh more than anyone else. He had an amazing sense of humor.
I have watched him grow old and he had watched me grew up. He was too kind to provide me all the things I needed. He always made sure that I abide by the rules he set. I discovered then that we had so many issues. When he was drunk, he would tell me how much he cared but when he was not, he would seldom express himself. That was why, unconsciously, I would somehow rejoice when he was drunk because that was the only time I would hear him tell me happy stories even until dawn. But when he got sober in the morning, again, it was like we hadn’t known each other.
And that’s what hurts the most. Because I have never felt that he loved me when he was at his normal state. I have never touched him and sit very close to him because of the boundary he set since the day I was born. I feared his eyes, his voice made me tremble and I would hide every time I cried because tears, for him, were unacceptable.
I studied a lot because failures disappoint him. I worked like there was no tomorrow because I saw him prospered. I do and finish a task on my own because he had taught me how to be independent. He hated dependent people. I can write from the heart because I was alone much of my life.
I can relate to anybody because I had learned how to adjust with his complex personality. His words were sharp like a knife. He criticized you right at your nose. He would tell you of your weaknesses – in front of you or at your back. He never gave a perfect rating of ten. He always wanted more and expected only the best.
For a long time, I thought he was always strong. I didn't notice that he was aging. And I failed to realize the very reason why he was so perfectionist, so distant. He was always a critic and seemed less appreciative.
I think that we just expressed love differently. Some show it without saying a word. And there is a great love that is often misunderstood. He didn’t take me into my dentist when I was screaming of pain, he didn’t appreciate me when I won in a play, he didn’t attend parents’ meeting when all the other parents were present. All those years, his presence was felt lesser.
But now, I have come to realize that my Daddy made me become who I am now. He knew that in this world, there are people who are insane and unfair. He made me a stronger woman who can adapt to disloyalty, adversities and struggles in life. My Dad communicated his love through his hard work and persistence. He was strict and silent all those years. But his kindness, efficiency, and being responsible, ability to think quickly and to love in silence will always be remembered.
Oh Daddy, may you rest in peace. It was so late for me to realize that you are my star! Now, every night, before I sleep, I’ll start to look up searching for you among the stars. Dad, I also have loved you so much in silence.