A Tribute to a Great Father

“…While he was saying this, a synagogue official came and knelt before him and said, ‘My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live’…” (Matthew 19:18)

I should’ve written this on Father’s day but I didn’t.

Not that I didn’t want to. I just didn’t get to. Either I was too busy or too tired. For some reason, I forgot to sit down and write a post on that day. But what I failed to do then, I will do now. Not because I have to but because I want to. And the desire was triggered by an event last week.

My father planed in from Davao to see his newborn grandchild, Pio, the first child of my brother Bogs. It was then when I noticed it for the first time. A proud senior citizen cardholder, Papang is really getting old.

 He is no longer the young man who used to play one-on-one basketball with me —he now walks with a limp because of diabetes.  

He can no longer watch basketball from the coliseum gallery section like we used to before — his eyesight is now failing him.

He can no longer jog with me in the early mornings the way we did before — his heart condition won’t allow it.

He can no longer stay up late watching his favorite action films with me on DVD — his doctor prohibits it.

Today, as I write this post, my father is in the hospital back in Davao. Five days ago, my sister called to tell me that Papang’s foot is swollen and that there is a danger of a heart failure. I talked to him yesterday, and as I heard his faint voice from across the line, I fought to hold back my tears.

My father wasn’t the perfect father. He had his share of flaws. His temper. His impulsiveness. His stubbornness at times. But he will always be Papang to me.

He who taught me the game we love.

He who trained me to speak in public.

He who rushed to my bedside everytime I was sick (even when I was in college). 

He who carried me especially during my bout with depression early in my adult life.

He who was willing to do anything for me…

The synagogue official in today’s gospel reminds me of my Papang. He too was also willing to do anthing for his child who was sick. Consider this…

A synagogue official had a reputation to protect. He was a leader of the organized church. He had a congregation, a flock he pastored. Perhaps he was a preacher too, speaking about the deepest theological truths every Sunday. He was invited to all the weddings, baptisms and other special family events of his church members.  He was an important man. And the last thing you would expect to see him do would be to ask help from an itinerant carpenter turned preacher. And perhaps he never thought that that day would come too. But it did. When despair hit home, the preacher became a father again. He swallowed his pride and did what he thought was the only way to save the life of his daughter. He went to Jesus to ask for the impossible…

“…While he was saying this, a synagogue official came and knelt before him and said, ‘My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live’…” (Matthew 19:18)

Such love. Incredible. Awesome. Reckless. This was the same love I received from my Papang throughout his lifetime.

It doesn’t have to be a special occasion to express our love for the special people in our lives. Try that today. Honor your spouse. Embrace your mom. Kiss your dad.

And it doesn’t have to be Father’s Day for me to say these words to my Papang.

I love you, Pang. I really do.

Holding back my tears,

Bobby

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4 thoughts on “A Tribute to a Great Father

  1. With all the troubles I am experiencing with regard to my dad getting older… I share your sentiments. Thank you so much for making such a nice blog.

  2. it is really inspiring. unsa imo g sulat kay gamay nlang maka hilak na unta ko. salamat kaau bob sa tanan. salamat kaau sa inspiration imo g hatag sa akoa og sa akoa pag silbi kan Lord. maygani g solod sa kwarto s chelo og c cole kay kun wala pa kay hilak jud unta. God bless bro.

    imo igsoon

    dodon

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