Thursday, July 12, 2012

I almost forgot to say thank you...

I think it's pretty safe to say that the entire nation is in mourning. 

Weeks ago, when I first heard that Mang Dolphy was in the ICU, I had a bad feeling about it. COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is no joke. And for someone his age to be battling with it, was a really scary thought. Let me just say that I never knew him, nor any member of his family. But I guess you don't have to know him to admire or respect him. He was so different from all the others in his league or profession. But because I didn't know him, I have little to say about him.

Except maybe this...

One Sunday many years ago, my family and I walked into Rustan's Makati. Back then, the Ferragamo section was right by the store's entrance. We stopped by that area and found Mang Dolphy trying on shoes. My Dad (who was still an ABS-CBN executive at the time approached him to say hello. My Dad was also a funny guy, he was known for his great sense of humor. He went up to Mang Dolphy and said, "Sir, tirahan mo naman ako. Baka ubusin mo na lahat.". Mang Dolphy laughed when he recognized who was talking to him then replied, "Sir, naka bonus lang po ng konti. Kaya konting shopping din po. Inunahan ko lang kayo kasi baka ako ang maubusan." They laughed together, exchanged a few words, Daddy introduced the rest of us then we said goodbye. That was it. That was my only encounter with the man. Although it lasted no more than 10 or 15 minutes, the impression it left lasted for many years after that. He was genuine, so real. So humble and kind. I saw it in his eyes. I'm sad just like everyone else is. Moreso because I'm also still grieving my Dad's death. I think of Mang Dolphy's children and I cry tears for them. I think of his partner, Zsa Zsa, and I'm reminded of my Mom's pain and I cry for her, too. I know exactly what they're going through. 

While watching all the tributes to him today, culminating in the necrological service at ABS-CBN, I was transported back to those days when my Dad lay in state at Christ The King. I suddenly felt the pain all over again, recalling what it was like for me the day we all went to ABS-CBN for the necrological service they held for my Dad. Then I realized, I had not written about that day yet. 

I might as well do it now to get it over with. I'm feeling sad anyway so I might as well give it a go and then hopefully wake up feeling better later.

My Dad's former staff and colleagues went through a lot of trouble to prepare for his homecoming

It was really bittersweet, seeing everyone he cared for and who cared for and loved him all those years he was part of the ABS-CBN family. Around 2 decades, if memory serves.

Watching the service for Mang Dolphy last night brought me to tears because memories of this day came rushing back

We were extremely overwhelmed by the show of love and support from all

Angeline Quinto sang a beautiful "Tanging Yaman", one of my favorite church songs

It wasn't easy getting up on that stage to talk about my Dad. I smiled one minute and cried the next.

It's been close to 2 months since I lost my first love. I'm not sure what to say about the pain. It's like a dull headache that won't go away, that's for sure. But everyday, it gets just a tiny bit better. I thank God for the gift of acceptance and strength, as I face each day without Daddy by my side, as I struggle to answer my little girl's questions about Lolo and if he will ever come back to us, as I look at my eldest child and wonder if in her silence she's alright, as I watch my Mom deal with her pain and my brother with his.

Life isn't the same, but it goes on.

I miss you so much, Daddy.

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