Happy Birthday Daddy!
I spoke to you a few hours ago
and your voice almost broke my heart.
Barely audible... the first thing you said was
"How are you?" and the next "how is school?"
I wanted to talk with you a little bit longer
but you would not say much more.
But then you were always a silent person so I figured it was your way of avoiding getting too emotional.
I was barely able to wish you "Happy Birthday" before mom took over and ranted about the different foods you guys were having for your special day.
She talked on about who was coming and what they'd be bringing.
Laughing all the while at how you were scowling at those around for making such a big fuss over what you claim is just another day.
But it isn't just another day dad, it's your 80th Birthday and very much worthy of a celebration.The phone call ended on a high mom always knows what to say to make a person feel less guilty. Years of practice I guess.
Then as if propelled by some unseen force I called the US to speak to my sister Luisa. The two of us were the only children missing from the celebrations.
Can't remember what lead to what but all of a sudden I realized that our conversation had taken a devastating turn.
My sister had news for me that literally snatched my breath away.
I felt giddy as tears streamed down my face soaking my shirt.
She had called home last Friday and spoke with my eldest sister.
what was said to her which she has passed on to me is still ringing in my ears
the tears come unbidden again.
My dad is dying...(someone please wake me up) say it isn't so...he's a diabetic...though he has managed to keep it under control for many years... his lungs and kidneys are finally failing. His doctor has advised that the regiment of pills he has been taking has to be discontinued. They are too strong and his gradually weakened body is no longer responding to it.
They are not exactly sure how much time he has left, could be months, weeks or even days.
My dad loves dogs.
My head is spinning and I am trying hard not to cry, but its futile to resist the tears...my hands are shaking as endless thoughts race through my head. I am trying to process them rationally but I am on the verge breaking down.
My biggest fear has been realized
I know that I should have been more prepared for this.
I know everybody dies but it's hard to let go.
The last person I lost who I loved as much as my dad was my Uncle Tuigamala Iopu.
I miss him still everyday and I always wonder what it would have been like were he still alive.
The void he left in my heart is still painful even after ten years.
Since then I have not endured anything so heartbreaking.
I cried a river when my uncle departed how much more will satisfy my sorrow for my father?
My dad has never been one to trouble/impose or inconvenience anyone...anyone.
So I knew that my family weren't going to tell me, my dad would see to it that I would not know and therefore not worry.
Always putting others before his own needs.
It dawned on me why he didnt want to speak to me for long, it's not that he didn't have anything to say it but because he couldn't say it. I know it must be hard for him too.
But now I know and my grief is raw.
It's deep and painful like nothing I had ever experinced before.
My dad could slip away and I would be deprived of a chance to say good-bye..worse he would pass on without ever having met his youngest grandchild.
I am torn between catching the earliest flight home and staying on to complete what he has always encouraged us to do.
To get the best education we possibly can.
I think back to when I was young,
how strong my daddy was,
vibrant, solid, indestructible
How he was such an excellent and capable provider.
Upright, dignified and most of all filled with so much love and warmth
though the years have taken a toll on his health
his mind is still as sharp and alert as ever.
I drift back to the phone conversation with my sister.
She said she spoke with our father for almost 30 minutes the longest my dad has ever been on a call perhaps.
She told him that she knew of his condition.
He replied "I have lived many good years, The Lord has allowed me to live out my life in peace in the presence of those I love.
I have enjoyed my work and now am ready to rest. "
The tears come again like torrential rain splattering on the keyboard. My nose is clogged up so is my mind.
Being so far away I feel so hopeless...
I know realistically there is not much I can do except pray..
I know what I have to say just don't know how to put them into a coherent structure but there is a voice inside my head screaming "Lord please don't take my dad away, please give me the opportunity to see him. To hold him one last time, to kiss him goodbye, to say Forgive me...Thank you and I love you. Yes I am selfish, I know that death is the end of all men but please please just give me a little more time with him. I need it please Lord I need it. Please don't deny me..."
Dad please wait for me,
I want you to hold my lil girl and kiss her on the forehead like you used to with me.
Please dad don't leave me I can't graduate any earlier than March 2008,
I don't know if I will have the strength to continue if I lose you.
I know I must for you but I don't know If I can or even want to
Please dad, love me enough to wait for me.
I love you dad with all of my heart.
Always and forever your lil girl.