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.
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.
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.