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Good enough for me

I have a normal relationship with my father. I say normal, because most of my friends, according to their own relatioship with their fathers, can be grouped into two: those who maintain a really tight bond with their dads, and those who detest their old man to the core. I say normal coz you see, me and my papa dont talk, but we dont hate each other either.

I dont speak of my father that much.Guess its sort of a bad conversation topic for me. either i end up depressed, or depressed and crying. j has been the sorry audience to my few attempts to equate  my feelings towards my papa with words. one thing im gonna tell you, my father is no saint.

no, he’s not the abusive type.but im not gonna say he didnt hurt us, as a matter of fact, he hurt us in the most damaging ways. every scowl, every disapproving glance and piercing look, every derogatory remark in front of other prople – every single one left a mark. i guess the most painful thing that i have to endure with him is the feeling that i can never be too sure that he’ll back me up, when faced with a choice between me (or any of us siblings or my mom) and his relatives. thats when i feel like screaming to his face. i want to let him know how we could never pick other people over him.

I love my mama more than my papa. that’s just the truth that i have have to admit. i think my papa knows that. i remember once he accused my mama of brainwahsing us into hating him. after my mom told me this, i just chuckled and said to my mom, ‘well, you dont even have to’.

thing is, i dont hate my father. i never have. even as a child, when i was too young to understand the concept of love and all the feeling i had for him was fear, i can never say that i hated him. he’s been a great provider to us, and eventhough his money can never replace the years that have gone by spent in awkward silences and polite nods of acknowledgment, i take comfort in the fact that he believed, in his hearts of heart, that it was the right way to go.

we are 11 in the family. i have four brothers, three sisters, my folks, and my dog. i am the only one supporting myself, and everyone is in the care of my papa. i can even dare say that my siblings are spoilt rotten as far as material wants are concerned. all that out of a government employee’s salary, and good old diskarte. i admire my father for single-handedly raising his family in a decent way. my father may be madiskarte, but he’s also been stupid a lot of times. duped a lot of times. fucked over a lot of times, often by his own family.yes, there have been bad times, times when even food had become an issue. but my father has triumphed over all these to give us the comfortable life that we live now.

i have come to terms with the fact that he’s built that way. even he himself is not close to my lolo and  lola. funny, but my father is just like an angsty teenager who is simply uncomfortable with the thought of mushyness. i remember, when i was little, i used to read until late at night, and i catch my dad checking up on all of us, opening every room just like in the movies, doing a head count, i suppose. maybe its a defense mechanism, to what, i dont know. but that’s just the way he is. since i went abroad, whenever we ‘talk’ on the phone, the extent of our conversation ranges from his ‘kumusta ka?’ to my ‘ok lang’, to his ‘kumusta ka’ again and ‘o eto na si mama’ as he passes the phone to my mom. i have long since gotten over this to mistake it for nonchalance. years have taught me that its just the way he is.

i have grown to appreciate him, but i think among us siblings, me and my older sister are the only ones to really understand where he is right now. there was a day when we were having a good time and a few laughs, and then my dad walked in, the party just broke up and everybody went up to their rooms. i wanted to call  everyone back, say its all right, its just papa. but i guess in due time they will also understand what i have then recently came to understand about our old man.

i guess what saddens me about my relationship with my papa right now is that i cant seem to reach him, he’s built a wall that is further aggravated by the distance between us. there’s no use in crying over the years, but i am worrying over the seconds that are passing now that i am mushy enough to tell him i love him, to kiss his cheeks and hug him. fuck, this is making me cry now. because i dont want this to be too late. i dont want to be too late.

when i get home by december, i’ll try my best to reach out to him. i just hope he’s ready. just extend your hands papa, i’ll do all the rest. i also hope that by then, i will have the courage to tell you this: you may not have been the best father, but i know you tried the best way you knew how. and that’s good enough for me.

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