When I started this blog, I chose the name based on my friend’s question, “what do you like most about being a dad?” and I replied, “hearing my son say, I love you too daddy.” Then when I got the shingles and was thrown into isolation, I got a lot of time to ponder and the title for my blog became symbolic of my desire to please God the Father. I wanted to tell him “I love you too, Daddy” with my whole being. This past Good Friday, I got a message from my uncle that my dad had been rushed to the ICU in the Philippines. On Saturday another message that he was non-responsive. On Easter Sunday, my daddy passed away.
I never really knew my daddy. I believe he had a tainted childhood which made it difficult for him to open up to other people. I remember growing up, listening to my mom tell us about her side of the family; how my grandfather wooed my grandmother; how my great-grandfather forfeited his family’s fortune to marry my great grandmother; how my great-great-great-grandfather was a famous writer who went under a woman’s pen name because the women were the storytellers in the Philippines. But if I asked my dad how he was doing, “I’m okay.” was as much as I would get. “How is work?”, “It’s good.” In the past couple of years, after moving to the Philippines, his phone calls would last no longer than 5 minutes, and would consist of “How are you?, how are the kids, how is Shelly,” and end with “I love you.” I might be able to tell him a bit more of what we were doing immediately but part of me was angry at him for leaving, so I was in less of a talkative mood every time I saw his “Dad” on the caller ID. As angry as I was and as short as our conversation was, after he said, “I love you.” I always said, “I love you too.”
Most of the time I didn’t even know what to talk to him about because I had no clue what he was into, or what he was doing. I feel almost a bit of a jerk for not reaching out more when I saw him last Christmas.
Since he died, some crazy things have been happening that I can only attribute to grace and his intercession. One of my friends told me that she would offer up a prayer that my daddy could love me more completely in heaven than he could on earth.
My daddy was far from perfect. He had trouble showing how much he loved me. He suffered silently. He laughed silently. As difficult as it was for him, I know that he tried to say, “I love you.”
Now that he is gone, I feel his presence even more and I say, “I love you too daddy.”