He was a father whom I ‘ve grown to hate due to irresponsibility and lack of perseverance to better his family’s life. I was in High School back then. He and my mother would always engaged in a shouting match, every night my father would come home drunk and my mother would get angry with me. Then a shouting spree would ensue. Luckily, there was never a physical confrontation. That was something I had to give credit for my father. He was not like other husband. He never hurt my mother physically. He loves her so much despite my mother not loving her back.
As for me, I’ve grown to hate him. As I find my way through finishing my studies, I nortured anger towards him which lead me to detach myself from our family, from him. As years passed, and as I lived my own life, I’ve never spoken to my father longer than an a few minutes. Whenever we see each other, it was always a casual talk. An obligatory father and son how-are-you-how-you’ve-been kind of thing.
I thought, a father-son relationship like this only happens in the movie. I was wrong. It happened to me and to my father. He died, without seeing me and talking to me. Before he died, we had a brief encounter at the wake of my grandmother (my mother’s mother) a few montsh ago. We didn’t talk then. I didn’t ask him how he was. He was trying to reach out to me, to my mother but we refused to let him in. And so he walked away.
I never thought that that would be our last encounter with both of us still alive. Two days ago, he died while trying to battle a heart attack on his own. My mother was not there, my siblings were not there, I wasn’t there. He was all alone when he died. Just like how he has been the last years of his life.
Finally, my father is at peace now. We had our long overdue talk yesterday. It was still short, but I was able to say what I wanted to tell him but did not have the courage to tell him when he was still alive.
I forgive you ‘Tay, for failing to do what you should have done for us. I hope you forgive me for failing to do what I should have done for you.
May you rest in peace, Mr. Arturo C. Zafra. May you rest in peace Itay.