Happy Birthday, Daddy

Daddy, Mommy and Me

Daddy, Mommy and Me…and yes, imagine the psychedelic colors and patterns my two fashionable parents brought to the world with me if only this photo wasn’t shot in SEPIA.

Today is your birthday, Dad.  A day away from Valentines’ Day.  And I don’t have a nice picture of you to post here.  They always say I look so much like you.  That’s because I’ve been a Daddy’s Girl all my life.

Imagine me today, a photographer.  And I didn’t have the chance to take a beautiful portrait of you.  All I have in my wallet is a teeny weeny ID picture of you.  To think I have taken portraits of so many fathers and their families.

Then again, you left too soon and never found out that your daughter was going to be a darn photographer someday (and I say that because you are going to say darn for it’s the last thing you would think I wanted to be).

You succumbed to a stroke on your birthday 14 years ago.  We were preparing a special family dinner.  You couldn’t breathe. We had to take you to the hospital. You ended up in a coma with a life-sustaining apparatus, while we sat by your side until the morning.

I kept whispering, holding your hand, telling you how much I loved you over and over.  I got a feeble nod with eyes closed, and barely a squeeze from your hand.

The next day, on Valentines’ Day, you left us.

Today, I remember the goodness of your heart, your presence that I missed so much, and I don’t know whether to greet you with a Happy Birthday or Happy Valentines’ Day.

Each year, the pain comes and goes, in between remembering fun moments with you, or the sad ones.

I wish you could see me now, how much your little girl has grown to become a toughie, a fearless woman (well, sometimes a bit reckless already). You would have been so proud.

Though I got the spunk and fierceness that Mommy has, I owe you the coolness in me, the quiet composure in moments of distress and tension (well, not always).  The voice of reason.  The gentle spirit.  I love you so much for sharing with me those awesome genes and sharp sense of humor! I got your love for writing, Dad. I found my small mark in this world and I wasn’t able to share with you a piece of my achievements because you left too soon.

On this Valentines’ Day, my heart will always leave a space only you can fill, Dad.  I love and miss you so much it still hurts.

~ Jojie Alcantara, Feb. 13, 2012

Missing You
(author unknown)

No words I write can ever say
How much I miss you every day.
As time goes by, the loneliness grows;
How I miss you, nobody knows!
I think of you in silence,
I often speak your name,
But all I have are memories
And photos in a frame.
No one knows my sorrow,
No one sees me weep,
But the love I have for you
Is in my heart to keep.
I’ve never stopped loving you
I’m sure I never will;
Deep inside my heart,
You are with me still.
Heartaches in this world are many
But mine is worse than any.
My heart still aches as I whisper low,
“I need you and I miss you so.”
The things we feel so deeply
Are often the hardest to say,
But I just can’t keep quiet any more,
So I’ll tell you anyway.
There is a place in my heart
That no one else can fill;
I love you so, Dad,
And I always will.

 

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