Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Daddy's girl

Each year I think that it would get easier but it hasn't been the case. How do you fill a father's role in 24 long years? I've had strong role models but it hasn't made missing him any easier. Today marks 24 years since his passing. Yes, it's been 24 long years since I kissed him gently on his forehead after his physicians pulled the plug. I remember that day so vividly at 7 years of age as if nothing else mattered. Not my collection of stickers or  miniature tea set and kitchen gadgets. Nor did my homework or the orphans that we were supposed to visit that Saturday with the Mother Theresa nuns walking about. NONE of that. Just being in that moment at that instant. The walls were closing in on me and I had suddenly forgotten to breathe. In, OUT...IN, OUT. OUT...IN..wait. What??? How do I do this again? I went back to that same fear I had when I got lost following someone whom I thought was my papa when we moved from our house to an apartment and I ended up following a TOTAL stranger. F*@K!!! I was scared. I overheard my half-siblings talking to my mom and the doctors but before I could make out their plan, we were quickly sent down to the cafeteria and grab some ice cream. 

My mother begged his doctors for my brothers and I to be nearby as soon as the decision was made to take him off life support.  It was a military-based hospital and minors weren't allowed in ICU. Well, that and my parents were never married so we weren't considered his children. In a country where Catholicism is the predominant religion practiced, bastard children were very much frowned upon. It actually states on my birth certificate that I am an 'Illegitimate' child. For real. I will have to retrieve it from my safe deposit box and photograph it to show you but it has no relevance now. I am my father's child whether a religious group deems it or not.  I had a little over 7 years of my life to share with him but a lifetime of getting to know the siblings that I share through his legacy.

To this day, I often wonder how much NOT having him in my life has affected my life. Some things I can definitely make the connection with his loss, others I try and take responsibility for and the rest of the time the lines get blurred and I end up praying to God that "this too, shall pass." I miss my papa dearly and no matter how many years go by without him, I know that he'll always be in my heart.