I couldn’t have said it better. Even though as each year renews, I am fully aware that this day and that day will come, it is never any easier. It is always a shock, like a jolt to the body, an unexpected swing to the head. And I wish that my maturity can catch up to my age, but it doesn’t, at least not yet.
It’s not even halfway through the year and already, someone joined the Dead Daddy Club. Yes, my friends and I have a sick twisted sense of humor, simply because it is easier than actually acknowledging the loneliness of not having them walk you down the aisle. Still, I have to remind myself that while it does feel lonely here, I am not alone.
And maybe he isn’t too. Maybe his space now is the space he needs. Maybe he didn’t need to see how far we’ve all come because he found his peace in what he’s already seen. Maybe — just maybe — this is all meant to be so I can be where I am now. After all, if it weren’t for that day, I wouldn’t have gained clarity. I would have been too scared to make the choices that brought me here, that afforded me the happiness I feel today.
So I hope maybe — said in a tone drenched in melancholy with a pinch of regret — one day, I can find a way to be happy about this day. Because all I can think of is the day when I got married and he wasn’t in the family picture. And the day when I packed my bags and he didn’t tape up my luggage. And the day I got engaged and he wasn’t there to hug my then-fiancé. And the take-care-of-my-daughter speech he never gave. And the father-daughter dance we never got to do.
And that there are so much more ahead, and he won’t be there for any of it.
Maybe one day, I could find some sort of happiness that the peace he needed was not within the space I could have shared with him.
Happy birthday, Tatay.