My father died 30 years ago. It was a tragic, unexpected death. As I write this, my heart still bleeds with longing for my father who was taken from us when he was only 53 years old. He was then the principal of San Pablo Central School, the biggest in the city. Three drug addicts forcibly entered our house and demanded money. It pierces my heart just to recall the incident. But God has a good purpose for all things. I always take comfort on that.
My father was a “jack of all traits”. He had knowledge of carpentry and did most of our cabinets, beds, benches and other stuff. He made toys out of coconut shell, invented his own (effective) rat trap, and also crafted a ukulele out of a dried upo (gourd). He had a complete set of carpentry and masonry tools because he did not like to borrow. When I was young, he used to fish in Sampaloc lake using his wide fishing net. After his day in office, he would work in our small nursery. He was always busy, doing all sorts of things, and I had not seen him idle, except when he was resting or sleeping after a tiring work. He was also a brave man, and a good singer too.
While my father was not expressive of his feelings to us, we all learned to love him dearly. We have seen all his sacrifices for us. Even if he was the principal of Central School, he would still drive our jeepney after office to make ends meet for his family, with five daughters all in college and high school.
How good and great is our Father in heaven to give us fathers who selflessly love and care for us. And while they lived their lives, we also watch them and learn from them. My sweetest memory of my father was when I was 5 or 6 years old. I was sweeping the yard and had already covered a big area when my father came near me. He sat down, put me on his lap and told me “ang galing talaga ni Ideng, maliit pa magaling nang magwalis”, while stroking my back. He may not be expressive of his love to us, but from that moment on, I knew I was loved and appreciated. That was a treasured moment. He left me a legacy to strive and do my best in all things that I do. He inspired me to enjoy household works and not to waste precious time.
Oh that fathers would always say inspiring words to their children. We can’t tell the impact of our words to them, just like what Proverbs 25:11 said, “ A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”
Happy Fathers’ Day to All!