Barely two weeks ago I got the news that a good friend’s dad died of complications from an untreatable disease. In the few times we interacted, I instantly liked the bare realism of tatay. Tatay, as I fondly call him, reminds me of my dad’s astute stubbornness and brute witticism. The down to earth jolly individual who grew out of the market’s daily grinds, never fails to surprise me with his “i am in control attitude”. He is after all a dad to his children. When the news of his death reached me, I found myself groping with sadness..
Me, a doctor, a surgeon. Born into the hard life, molded into steel (so my story goes) still…and still, I am groping with sadness.
When we lost our dad to liver cirrhosis three decades ago, i barely had any idea what grief means. I was only eight years old. I never knew a thing in this world but “play”. When I grew enough to miss my dad, I began to use that missing as a source of inspiration for pursuing my dad’s dreams for us. Together with my mom’s unwavering love, I drew inspiration from that ‘missing” and strength from my dad’s memories. In a way, I never really faced off with sadness before.
Until again this time, when another semblance of my dad came along…and left. He reminded me what once my dad’s fondest “cliche” for us.
Live today as though it will be your last.
Seek the best in all that you do.
Never put a thing off for tomorrow what you can do today.
Dream small, dream big, above all, never fail to dream…
Yes, they are cliche today. But in my job where I rub elbows with a “dead man walking” almost daily, the only cliches are those “cliches, you need to settle”…
RIP, tatay. Thank you for reminding me of my dad. Please pass this to him when you guys meet up there: “I love his cliches“