Daily Prompt Challenge: My Hero!
DAILY PROMPT: MY HERO!
I remember in my childhood days, my father was always away from home. He worked in Manila and he would just come home on the weekends. I rarely see him but he tried to find time to spend with me and my siblings. My father taught me how to fire a toy gun and how to play darts. I remember him buying me a horse made of paper mache in which I can ride like a real pony. He would also play Lego with me but, at times, end up cursing and swearing when he can’t find the only right piece to complete the figure we are trying to build. He was not a very patient man then.
My father is not the perfect father as I was growing up. He was young and carefree. I am not even sure if he already know the word “responsibility” then. He would often drink with his buddies and come home drunk very late at night. Or he would spend a lot of his time fixing his car in the garage. My uncle would even joke that my father loves his car more than us. As he became busy with other things, his time was divided among us and his extracurricular activities.
Once, when I was 5-7 years old, I woke up because of a loud bang I heard from our room. It was dark and I couldn’t see a thing. The next thing that happened was, my mom turned on the light and I saw my Dad sitting on the floor holding a gun. Everything was hazy maybe because my eyes were adjusting to the brightness of the light. The next thing I heard was my father cursing and crying and my mother was comforting him. She got hold of the gun and took it away from him. Then my mom took my Dad’s hand and led him to their room. That was the first time I have encountered my Dad’s weakness.
As a father, he was strict and a disciplinarian. He beat me once with a belt and imprisoned me in the bedroom with the lights off. That was his way of reprimanding me for being stubborn at times. He found out I have been skipping classes. I was seven years old then. That was the first and last time he beat me as far as I can remember.
As we (me and my four siblings) were growing up, he tried as much to become a good father to us. He was also growing up and being mature as a father. He would send and fetch us from school. One time, we were both listening to the radio and the song “Wooden Heart” was playing on the radio. I sang the song (it’s one of my favorites) and he sang along. It was the first and last memory of me singing with my Dad. Another time, we were both arguing as to when Jose Rizal was born. I looked up in the book when we got home and he was right with the date. Those rides to and from school were our only bonding as father and daughter all throughout my highschool years.
In college, he was with me along the way. He accompanied me during my college entrance exams. He often visits me on my boarding house or sometimes, he would fetch me there so we can go home to the province together during the semestral break. He comforted me when I was crying because I failed an exam. He was there to encourage me when I decided to give up my course and shift to another college.
My father is one of the bravest man I have ever known. In 2005, he got sick of Malaria after being sent to Zambales for a field work. We brought him to the hospital and was admitted. And while the doctors were attending to him at the emergency room, he asked for me. He gave me two of his atm cards and gave me the responsibility of budgeting the money he have there. I was trying not to cry and trying to be brave. How would you feel when the only person whom you have thought your hero was in the hospital bed, with all those tubes inserted in his frail body? Ever since I was a child, he always have the answers to all questions and solutions to all problems. And what now? He asked me to get the cheapest hospital room, to allot enough money for my sister’s and brother’s tuition fee and to pay all the bills at home before I attend to his needs. The doctor said they’d try everything the can to save my father but they told us straight to the point that there’s a big chance he wouldn’t survive. When I left the emergency room, that’s when I broke down.
After three weeks of me running to and fro from The Philippine Red Cross and the hospital to fetch some blood, the sleepless nights I have to change my father’s cold towel on the forehead to bring down his fever, the endless times I have to sponge bath him, and the never ending times I would listen to his rambling of getting harder to breathe and pounding headaches, he was able to survive and overcome the illness.
I saw how worried he was for me when we both received the result of my thyroid ultrasound. But he tried hard to feign it. It was 2007, and the doctors found out I have cysts on my thyroid. My father accompanied me to and fro the hospital for appointments. He was always there to take away my fears, to dry my tears and to encourage me and see the brighter side of life. I don’t know how I would have survived all of it without him.
In 2009, I saw how sad he was when he sent me off to the airport. It’s my first time to leave them and fly to another country. My father is a very silent man and very shy to express how he feels in spoken words. But after hugging him, I felt everything I need to hear from him. Then I went straight to the departure area, never looking back.
After everything he had been through, and after everything we had been through, I am glad we still have him. He taught me a lot and still is as I am struggling with the mad world outside. I guess it would be his life long role. So to my father, my one and only Super HERO, you are still the Number One Man in my life. And I know tonight when he gets home from work, he will go straight to the kitchen and cook dinner for all of us.