Saturday, April 10, 2010

I'm such a cry baby

The last time I cried over a heart-warming novel was when I read Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. Two weeks later, I read another best-selling book by him, The Last Song, and you guessed it right - I cried, nonstop.

A lot of you might think I'm OA (overacting), exaggerated, silly, or perhaps stupid. I'm just a cry baby. And I realize that just lately.

When  I read, I don't simply read the lines. I put myself into the main character's role making myself engrossed and engulfed in his/her fictional world. I feel happy when he/she is happy. I get mad when he/she is betrayed. I'm hurt when he/she is hurting. It seems like an invisible, thin cord connects my consciousness to the role which in turn control my reflexes and emotion. Even if I could relate to the character's loss and/or triumph, that doesn't make me cry easily. Like I've said, making me cry is like making a stone to bleed. That masquerade, however, is subjugated whenever the subject at hand talks about dogs and fathers.

I always have soft spot for dogs. But this novel isn't about dogs. There wasn't even a single mention of man's bestfriend on it.

The Last Song talks about first love, summer love. Talks about life, the choices you make and how these choices affect relationships. It's about second chances, forgiveness and how to make it up to someone you've caused hurt.

No, these are not the factors that made me cry. It was when Ronnie learned to forgive his father, they we're making up for their lost time together, then she found out her father had barely a year to live. Her father died.

I lost my father when I was 13 years old. He died of a heart attack. It was his first heart attack and little did we know it was going to be fatal. We didn't sense he was having a frail heart condition at that time. I never remembered him sick, went to the doctor, having chest pains, breathing problems or even complained he felt anything weird in his body. Everything about him was normal. Healthy. Until one fateful night, past midnight when my mother woke up to the sound of his persistent, breath-catching cough. He was having a hard time breathing.

My mother brought him to the hospital. I don't know if he was still conscious or not when they reached there. The last thing my mother remembered, they were ushered to the emergency room, nurses putting in tubes for the oxygen tank, and then, came the dreaded news. My father didn't last an hour in that emergency room. He left us.

I still remember well, how the sad news came to me.

I thought I was dreaming.

I heard someone crying.

I thought it was my mother's.

Sure enough I opened my eyes, got on my feet and went straight to the kitchen. I saw my mother, crying. Hysterical.

For a second there I couldn't move. I wasn't quite sure if it was reality or nightmare.

When the bad news dawned on me I still couldn't believe it. It was like a practical joke that didn't seem funny. I'm not sure if I was in denial then. I just couldn't process the fact or the thought that last night I was still talking to my father, having dinner, discussing plans - and suddenly he is gone. Forever.

Being the eldest and only daughter, I'm very close to  my father. A daddy's girl - as my mother would point out. He was my teacher when having a hard time solving math problems. He would obligingly do my art project because I'm too clumsy to even draw a straight line. He's always been proud of me and he's the kind of father any daughter could ask for.

That was 15 long years ago yet the pain still throbs whenever I think of him or whenever I stumble upon a similar situation that would clearly remind me of the loss. I would cry, unable to hold up, sustain and will my emotion. There was no getting over with the feeling from his demise. It remained fresh and unsullied.

How I wished my father was there when I graduted from high school, when I received my scholarship in college, when I became a Dean's Lister, when I finally got my diploma, when I turned eighteen, when I fell in love, when I had my first boyfriend and first broken heart. I wished he was there when I set out for work, when I got a call to my first job, when I had my first salary. All the important, memorable moments of my life I wished with a fervent heart that he was there.

What aches me even more is the fact he won't be walking with me to the altar when I get married. That he won't be able to hold, see and play with his grandchildren. (that remains to be seen as getting married and have children is far from the list right now.)

I missed him. I wish I had the chance to tell him how much I love him, how much he means to me. I hope I was able to make him feel I'm proud to be his daughter, that I will never trade him for any man in this world. He will forever remain in our hearts and he will always be the man whom I truly love.



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