Mother, if you’re reading this. A million thanks, loads of kisses and tons of big warm hugs for my birthday present. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the front seat concert tickets (you used as markers) inside that Nicolai Gogol book you and Dad Aldo gave. You two know me so well and how to tickle my fancy. I love you guys!
Thirty years, yesterday. And how many hours?
I don’t know. Not Anymore. I have the years in me, still, but the smaller, paler shapes of time have been lost — the weeks, the days, and the quiet hours within them. They’ve left me or maybe my wish to count them has. But along with the old, comes the new. A different view of life, a renewed pallete for the bitter sweet ordeals I have to face. Heck yah, I am ready!
I am thirty. Not old, not even slightly.
I am so excited to finally get our plane tickets, Yipee! It’s been like two, three months since we placed our flight reservations. And bless the kind travel agents for enduring my mother and sisters flickery and occassional outburst. I think they were close to saying — go buy your tickets elsewhere. Hahaha!
Paminsan minsan ay huminto ka naman, Kaibigan.
Nang iyong masilayan ang gandang mayroon,
Sa mundong ating ginagalawan,
Masdan mo ang gintong nakalutang sa luntian,
Damhin mo ang init ng araw sa dapithapon,
Lumakad sa ulan at ikaw ay magtampisaw,
Tumingin sa itaas at panoorin ang galaw ng mga ulap,
At sa paglubog ng araw, ikaw ay ngumiti sa langit,
Ipikit ang mga mata at magpasalamat kay Bathala,
Pagkat tayo ay tunay na pinagpala.
For some reason, I had this bad gut feeling when I accepted Scott’s offer that I lease his house in the suburbs. But it’s not like I asked him to, I was simply having a conversation with him and his partner one day. When I told them that I’ll be putting my house on the market. Something in me wanted to say no, but Scott and his partner was insistent and the house was immaculate inside and out. Needless to say, I didn’t listen to my intuition and I agreed to his terms.
But then came his frequent visits. At first, it was helping me pack up my things or driving down the storage facility or doing some errands. Then suddenly, he decided to drop in late one night and invited me for a way too late dinner date. He was quite disappointed when I told him no and went back to sleep. And then the next morning, he was at my door at 7 AM holding a cup of hot coffee, asking that I jog with him. Now, I’m very suspicious.
I just had to clear the air right away. As it’s only been a couple months since we’ve made peace and decided to amend our past conflicts. And we’re good friends now, specially Scott’s partner who became a fellow since we belong to the same LGBT group. Besides, I’m not about to ruin his trust and sever what good relationship I have with him. So I asked Scott, just what exactly is he doing? Why has he been showing up at my door step lately?
True enough, my hunch was right. He’s been exploring the jungle yet again. And was wondering if I can be his prey. But I was quick to dismiss his motives and his crazy wild ideas. I simply told him to get lost and leave me in peace. I was very serious when I told him that I have no problem telling his partner his misadventure, if he doesn’t leave me alone. Which made him think twice pursuing me. And to put things right, I have decided to cancel whatever agreement we have on the house. I didn’t want to see him again and deal with his dirty tricks.
It may take me sometime to find a new place to stay. But I think I’m on the right track. For I am no scumbag and have no plans associating myself with one.
Our seven day trip to Calgary has proven to be one of my most memorable vacation. This has been one of those very few occassions when I get to spend time alone with mother. Don’t get me wrong, I love my siblings to bits and pieces and I look forward to family gatherings. But I sometimes have a hard time opening myself when there’s a whole bunch of people around.
On our very last day in Banff, as my mother and I were taking a walk along Lake Louise. She asked me this question that caught me off guard. She said, ” I’m going to bet my life on this. But you haven’t forgiven your Dad for what has happened to us. Right? “ I heard her loud and clear, and I was left clueless. Should I lie or should I lie to myself more?
The truth is, Mom is right! I have always hold my Dad accountable for there divorce and our families separation. If not for his infidelity, my siblings wayward life would have been different. Mom wouldn’t be with another guy, and like a fairy tale. We would have live happily ever after. Part of me wants to understand him and another wants me to seek someone else to blame for what our family has gone thru. But how do you exactly hate your father? And make him pay for the unhappiness he caused?
I was lost in words and realization. That I couldn’t find the words to say and describe the way I feel towards my Dad. He is a good man, yet he was an awful husband. He was not the ideal father, but he was an amazing provider. Truly, he wasn’t perfect and he is human in every way. But how do I see pass his flaws? Which reminded me of what my Lola use to say — It is hard to forgive the people we love and trust. Much more, if it’s the family we adore.
It’s been years since my parents decided to go there separate ways. And still, I had some resentments that I haven’t fully defeated. I understand that Mom and Dad are better off separated, and they’re indeed destined to be friends rather than a couple. And instead of thinking of ourselves as victims, we’d rather condition our minds to think that we were offsprings of what was once a happy and devoted relationship. That I should feel blessed, that our parents continues to love us beyond there separation and shortcomings.
Then, it was my turn to ask Mom — how were you able to forgive him? Unlike me, she was quick to answer. She said, “ If I wanted to be bitter, I could have done that easily. But I have three wonderful children to thank him for. I have you guys! Your Dad is every bit human, so he has imperfections. He made a mistake and he had suffered enough, when we decided to file for a divorce. He knew that was the price he has to pay for his misdemeanor. Trust me when I say that your father is a good man. He may not be the best father, but he’s been a good provider to us all. Try and weigh the good and bad things he’s done. And you’ll be surprise of your fathers kidness and generosity. He may not be an effusive guy as you wanted him to be, but he has got to be a good person inside. Just remember how your Dad accepted you when you came out to him, not every man in his position would be accepting as he is. That right there is unconditional love! So, if he’s able to look pass your imperfections. Surely, you’d be able to do the same for him. “
I was left silent with what Mom said, she hit the nail right on the head. Dad didn’t deserve a cold shoulder, he deserves my utmost respect. I felt so disgusted over my lack of appreciation, how can I be naive? For if there were people that truly loves me for who I really am, that would be my family — my Mom and Dad. I have no right no hold any resentment. For Dad has only shown me nothing more, but unconditional love and kindness.