On keeping and letting go

It was during my layover at HongKong that I learned that my father has passed away while I was dozing on the flight back from Toronto. After several episodes of crying in the departure terminal like a heartbroken OFW that had to leave her sweetheart behind, a thought consoled me — in the moments right after he passed away, I was the closest one to him, all the way up there in the clouds.

I’ve been meaning to post the pics below, although I did not imagine I’ll be putting them up now in such a grave light. You see, an onslaught named Ondoy came in unwelcome into our house some months back, and our childhood photo albums were among the casualties from the flood. Luckily, Ate Yen took a couple of albums with her back to Toronto when she visited last 2006, so a few keepsakes survived. She scanned them so that I can take the pics home — inevitably we’ve aged, but it’s still the same smiles. True, brace yourself for years of haircuts and clothes that get better/worse, but if you look closer, in some pics you still can see the same twinkling eyes.

Christmas eve dinner pic. My dad's actually smiling on this one!

Some of the scenes trigger memories. For some, honestly, I no longer can recall them happening. I particularly treasure the one above — pictures with all seven of us together are exceedingly rare, as my father was a seaman and now my siblings and I are scattered all over the globe. My papa was one of those chronic non-smilers — the fact that we found a complete family pic wherein he was actually SMILING is a real source of peace.

I think this was after one of Ate Tina's performances in school.

Keeping and losing will always be a part of life, that I know. I’m just happy now that he’s starting a new adventure free of pain. I’m not sure if there’s WordPress in heaven, but hopefully he can still see or sense that his daughters have once again come home and are thinking of him. It’s true that we’ll never have another chance for a full family photo again, but what’s important is that the memories & lessons remain.

To view the full album, you can see them at Picasa over here.

One of my favorite fiver pictures -- this one was with my mom & grandparents.
With the extended family at my uncle's house.
Another photo with my grandfather, taken just days before he passed away.
My mom's birthday celeb in the hospital, as we were just about to welcome my niece Erica into the world. That's my dad in the back.
I remember this pic hanging from our wall. My mom would often take us to Quezon Circle to ride bikes.
I love this pic of my elder sisters with Lolo. They're perched on our first car, a Beetle that I actually did not get to see.
Photo-op before my kindergarten graduation (where I went ala-Ms. Saigon). I loved this tree, many fond memories as well.
When we discovered the tradition of wine during Christmas eve dinners.
Another one for the hall of fame, this time with Erica. I think this one was right before Ate Yen migrated to Canada.
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6 thoughts on “On keeping and letting go”

  1. our heartfelt condolences to your family Ish. Your dad is so proud of you now, for what you have achieved. You’ve been part of our family once and forever will be. Even though there is no wordpress up there, I’m sure you are correct when you said that you were the one closest to him when he bid farewell as you were literally thousand miles up there in the skies….God bless always!

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