He rationed his own money even for his own needs, just to satisfy my mom’s cravings when she was still pregnant with me. He battled the storms or intense heat from our house to the nearest market or convenience store and then rush home because mom might change her mind again!
After months of rushing from here and there, he became the happiest dad when he first held me in his arms. All his sacrifices, sweat and sleepless nights have paid off during that one beautiful moment.
Day after day, he would be very excited to teach me my first words. He cheerfully told his officemates about it as if what I said was “papa,” but really, what I said was “mama”.
Every night, he wakes up at the sound of my loud cries and occasional screaming, seeking the swing and warmth of his arms for a good night sleep and sweet dreams.
Every time I wake up, you can see from his face that he was the most delighted watching me learn how to lie face down and crawl. After a couple of months, I finally learned how to walk and run. He tirelessly followed me around and made sure I don’t get hurt.
During the scariest nights, he was the most eager to make the wackiest and funniest faces just to hear me giggle when I’m afraid of the monsters hiding under my bed. He would lie down beside me and say, “Don’t worry, daddy is here, no one’s gonna hurt you.”
A couple of years after, the monsters were gone but then I imagined that there were ghosts roaming around our house. He then taught me to pray before going to bed so that these ghosts won’t visit me at night.
Time have passed and he told me to never forget about them when it starts to get exciting in school. I could still remember his face with tears starting to well up as I walked excitedly towards the school entrance during my first day. And after a long day, he would pick me up and as he drove me home, he gladly listened to my stories about my day.
A few years later, I went to high school and then to college. Studying seriously has been hard for me as when I was in high school I have gone to countless parties, smoked cigarettes, skipped my classes, and been to short relationships. I knew I wasn’t the same kid he used to hug and carry during those scary and sleepless nights. A lot of things have changed, but not the love that my dad has for me.
Every dawn, he was always happy to see me still coming home instead of being angry or disappointed for what I was doing. He always asked me, “how was your night?” at first all I gave him were short responses and gone straight to bed without even asking how he was, but now, I realized that he needs my love as his child, too.
Happy nights and boring days have gone fast and I haven’t got anywhere good in my life--but my dad was still there, motivating me to study hard to be able to fulfill my dreams.
Suddenly, I woke up one morning thinking about my life and felt that the string in my heart was tugged by my dad. I went to his room to apologize for all my wrongdoings and to thank him for everything that he has done for me. I saw him lying on the bed and he turned his head to see me--he was already awake. I ran into him and my eyes burst into tears that instant. I just hugged him tightly. I knew what I had to say but words won’t come out.
He was surprised about what was happening but he knew what he just needs to do--to pat my head and hug me back. That was the moment that I started to tell him what I wanted to say: my apologies, my thanks, and my everyday stories that I knew he was waiting for me to tell.
Everything is now better--no, I just failed to see that everything has always been better and my dad is the reason why.