Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

My Father’s Smile

20150622-174253.jpgWhenever I see daddies alongside their children, there’s always this tiny pang of jealously from within. I have had this love-hate feeling against my dad, who at most times seemed absent even though he was still with us in this abyss called life.

It has been eight years since he passed away. Complications due to kidney disorder was the medical conclusion. He had lived a life of excessive smoking, and then drinking towards the end of his life. He had done this to ease himself of muscle pains and to drown himself from the depression he plunged himself into. His life was marred with self-pity, not knowing that his loved-ones were suffering for his self-redemption.

I’ve tried to be distant from my dad as he was always distant from his children. I would admit that I had this secret fear against him. At the back of my head, I sometimes thought that he could assault me anytime. Perhaps because he did not love us…or perhaps he really did not know how to express his love toward us. He had been a victim of countless rejections since a child, and he carried this spirit of defeat until his last days.

But for a short season, I had shared a time of laughter with him. That was when I was a small child, not knowing the pains he was bearing in life. Months before he was confined to the hospital, I tried to create light moments with him. He himself did not know how to reach to us, as he tried to hide his pride in his robust but frail stature.

And suddenly his time was up. Away from home, I broke down when I received a text from my sister-in-law. My mother was too frantic at what happened she could not reach me. The burden was gone and so was the chance to see him change.

But his change only came at the last minute of his life. He had turned back to the Lord days before he passed away, my mother said. But we children never had the chance to witness it. Until now, he remains distant to us.

Every Father’s Day seems like a blur to me. I never had a clear picture of my dad except the one where I was sitting on his lap when I was about four years old. He was not smiling then, and until the last days of his life he tried not to smile at anyone. No one thought of taking pictures of him as he did not want to show his almost lost teeth. Not one of us ever had a grown up picture with him. Perhaps, we never thought that he could grin at all, or think of us that we can be his closest friends.

He is now free, shackles now broken off his hands. We are also free, from the misery that he had been carrying all along. The choices that we had made were a struggle, as we tried to link each other’s understanding. That smile, rarely seen in him, might now be seen everyday in heaven. Perhaps, he is a man I never imagined, as he leaps with joy at our Heavenly Father who watches over us.

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