Are you there, dad?

I remember writing about my relationship with my dad back in my 2nd year college. It stirred so many hazy memories. Some sad, some bland, some just there so I don’t forget what he’s like.

My dad worked abroad for most of his life and we only got to see him for 2-3 months every year during those times. Many families in the Philippines are like that–children grow up with their parents abroad to sustain their loved ones left in the country. They are separated by lands and seas and connected by thoughts and prayers.

People think it’s hard for me to grow without a father figure. For someone who was born after her dad started his career abroad, I’m not really bothered by the lack of a dad in the household. When you’re someone who grew up without something, you don’t suddenly miss what you’re lacking when you’re used to not having it. When he was on his 2-3 month vacation, a month of it was spent trying to be the “good kid” he probably imagined. The next month or so was usually spent basically ignoring each other because he had come to realize that we were not the children he wanted us to be, that we fall short of his expectations. Our courtesy laughs became silence, our forced smiles became empty stares.

As I grow older, more hard feelings develop especially when he’s around. Sometimes we try to reach out, sometimes he does. It felt, and still feels, like we’re communicating using two cups connected by a yarn. It’s just that that thread that connects us is just so loose that I can’t feel that he’s on the other line. I tug, I pull, I yank the yarn, hoping that he’ll know I’m still on the other end. The yarn falls loose, as if the other cup has been thrown away. Maybe the line’s just too long, maybe our tugging’s not enough, maybe the thread’s been cut off, I don’t know. I just want to know if he’s still waiting and listening on the other line.


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7 thoughts on “Are you there, dad?

    • Thank you! Yes, my siblings and I have come to realize that we don’t have all the time in the world to keep dancing along the edge but not actually taking the leap to reach out to our dad. It’s scary, but we’re hoping the future will be good memories. ☺

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      • That’s the way to go, all the best, my dad is no more, but when I look back I appreciate every moment that God gave me with him, he was not a perfect man, but he was my dad and I think that’s good enough sometimes…

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  1. Really well written – love your analogy. Maybe you just have to bite the bullet and speak to him outright 😃🐻

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    • Thank you! This is a watered down version of what I wrote 4 years, but the sentiments still stand true, haha. Thank you for the advice, yes, I will approach him and work on our relationship little by little ☺

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