Thank You Papa

Dear Papa,

I’m sorry I can’t give you a grandson within this year because there are only 12 months in a year and it takes nine months to have a baby. I don’t have enough time. I once told you that almost 90%  of  marriages in India are arranged and only 5% result in divorce. In case you are in favor of that, I don’t mind. It just shows how much I trust my parents or how desperate I am.

But seriously……

Thank you Pa for everything

Thank you Pa for giving me a moral compass though sometimes I forget to use it. I know I am capable of making “major major” mistakes in life but when I think of you and Ma, I can’t afford to make one, When I am confronted by temptation, I used this photo below as my desktop wall paper. I told my friend: “Para makonsensya ako, tuwing gusto ko magkasala.” It has been effective though. People keep family photos for inspiration. I do too but sometimes, it also serves as my conscience.

papa and me

Thank you for teaching me humility. I have never forgotten what you said when I was in elementary. “There will always be someone better than you.” My pride argued: “Yes, there is always someone better than me but I am also better than someone else occasionally.” But I now drop the idea of being better or being less fortunate. I don’t need comparison to make me feel good about myself because I realize everything I owned is borrowed. Everything I accomplished is an answered prayer. Everything I excelled is an occasional luck and bias. I have nothing worth bragging.

Thank you for loving Mama. I know I shouldn’t thank you for this because this is given and expected but every story of domestic violence, every story of broken family reminds me how blessed I am to have loving parents who value marriage vows and family ties.

I first learned the word ‘worldly’ from you. I heard this Bible verse a lot of times: “ Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” I simply understood ‘worldly’ as love for money, cars, and lavish lifestyle. When I was younger, I thought you were just being overly conservative of defining ‘worldly’. But as I seek happiness in many places, in many angles, in many schools of thought. I add another layer of what ‘worldly’ means. Yes, you were right. Consumerism encourages us to want things that we do not have and cannot have. It lets us aspire for the things that we do not need. Our obsession of accumulation of wealth, power, and achievement, has nothing to do how we feel deep within. These ‘worldly’ things serve some purpose in our lives but they are fleeting and shallow. Thank you Pa for giving me that food for thought at a very young age. It did not resonate to me when I was nine but it makes so much sense now that I am facing quarter life crisis.

Thank you Pa for giving me a good example of what charity means or else, I could have been very skeptic with every kind person I meet. Today, the thin line between self-love and selflessness becomes thinner. With the aid of social media, no good deed comes unpublicized. I do question people’s act of kindness. Are they doing this and that for others or are they doing this to feel good about themselves? Uncle Elias has a term for that. It’s ‘spiritual pride’. It is so hard to forget yourself. And sometimes I find myself doing good to compensate my shortcomings or to reap some psychic rewards. You are amazing Pa because you don’t engage in self-publicity (which my generation is guilty of). You are the emergency hotline. You open our house like a social welfare institution but you never earn a medal or a plaque of appreciation or a full feature article in the newspaper (kaya sa blog ko na lang na sinusulat hehe)

*****

I might be  a spinster someday. I might meet men who will give me bruises and scars as souvenirs but I will never be anti-men, just a feminist. As long as you are my dad, I will always think my life is beautiful. I will always choose to see the goodness in people. With you, I have a better appreciation of life.

Happy Birth Month Pa!

Lots of love,

Jacklyn

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anonymous
    Jun 21, 2015 @ 11:19:09

    What a brilliant masterpiece.. 🙂 Indeed, you’re one of a kind. 🙂

    Like

    Reply

  2. Anonymous
    Feb 18, 2014 @ 08:37:19

    Wow, your thoughts are freely flowing and your words are fluid. Keep on writing. Love your style. Simple and easy. Great job!

    Like

    Reply

  3. Miriam Belo Tan
    Feb 17, 2014 @ 20:27:19

    You said it very well about our Papa. Proud that he’s our father & proud for your great job. Keep Up!

    Like

    Reply

  4. Anonymous
    Feb 13, 2014 @ 10:51:31

    very touching… and one more thing, you are not a spinster yet… you’re still young… enjoy life to the fullest .. you know your limitations… you’re Papa and Mama must have been so proud of you. Congrats to them for bringing you up very well…

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  5. Abby
    Feb 12, 2014 @ 01:41:30

    Love this article. It speaks so much of you. Keep writing…

    Like

    Reply

  6. jackieB
    Feb 10, 2014 @ 15:18:25

    oh thanks a lot! 😀

    Like

    Reply

  7. andy1076
    Feb 10, 2014 @ 15:10:04

    Beautiful.. your dedication is inspiring.. 🙂

    Like

    Reply

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