Twelve years ago today, my dad told me he loved me for the last time.
I was raised to always obey my parents, and so even though my mom lived thousands of miles away, and my dad was an atheist, I opted to go to Church twice a week to make my mom happy.
It was a Wednesday morning, and I just got out of Church. My dad sent me a message telling me he couldn’t pick me up because he went fishing with his friends. His message came with an “I love you” at the end.
For me, it was a little random and weird. The only time my dad would say those words was either before I went to bed or when I woke up in the morning. That was the first time he said those words without making it sound forced.
Later that same day, he asked me if I could stay at his friend’s house for the entire night until morning the next day, and although I was a little hesitant, being the obedient daughter that I was, I said yes…
…Only to wake up crying in the middle of the night feeling uneasy and anxious. I woke up having a panic attack, looking for my dad. And in the morning, when I woke up for the second time, I heard a series of loud knocks on the door, my cousin calling my name, crying.
When I went out, her face was drenched in tears and she looked at me. Without hearing the words, I fell down on my knees and cried calling for my dad. I knew then that something was wrong.
When I saw my dad’s body lying in bed, something inside me died too. How could people be so heartless?
My dad was a great man. He was strict and he could be violent but it was never for the wrong reasons. He was a respectable man who had beliefs different from others’. He was a man of honor, who gave us all tough love. But he never deserved to be brutally taken away from us.
He passed away due to a seven-inch stab in his stomach, thirteen cuts in his face and head. He was stabbed with a katana. His head, his lips, his entire face were wounded. I could no longer imagine the face of the man I loved so much.
My older sister came home the same day not expecting to see him like that. I could not imagine how devastated she was. Among us all, I knew that my sister loved him more than I did, but she never showed it to him and never made him feel how much she loved and adored him.
I guess, it is true what they say that we only realize we made a mistake when it’s already too late. And until now, my sister hasn’t forgiven herself just yet.
When my dad left, it also took me years to recover. I fell into depression and got sick. I had a really hard time healing, and I couldn’t tell this story before.
Now that it has already been twelve years, although the pain of losing my dad is still there, I am much stronger and braver now. I am already able to write this story and actually finish it like this without sobbing.
I still miss him every single day. I still wish he was still here, cheering up for me, sharing the happiness I get when I succeed academically and professionally. But I know I have to move forward and accept the fact that I cannot bring him back, and that not all the ones we love actually stay forever.
And so, if my dad could still read this, I want to end this post with a small letter…
Daddy, I love you so much more than you had ever loved me.
I know you had a hard life and you didn’t mean to hurt us and leave us just like that.
You were the one who had always believed in me, and I have to admit that every time something great happens to me, I still wish you were here because I know you would be very happy and proud of me.
When life gets rough, I still wish you were around, because daddy, sometimes I still wish I could still be a father’s baby. I had to grow up quick when you left because I no longer had anyone who would make me feel like I was still a baby and that I didn’t have to worry about growing up. Daddy, I’m already twenty-four and although I think maturely now, I still wish I could be a spoiled kid and not care about what people say about me.
Daddy, I still have panic attacks and wake up crying in the middle of the night calling out your name because I feel so alone and that no one understands me. But don’t worry, because that is only momentarily. I have learned to pick myself up and stay strong because of you.
I miss you, and I love you, daddy. Always have. always will.