February 23, 2017, Thursday

It was such a long day. I had a wedding client and I did the bride’s makeup. I was with the bride’s family from 9am until the reception ended. The family was so accommodating and they treated me and my assistant as family, well, more like VIP.

That day I didn’t have any doubts on myself. I was pretty sure that I can do it. I knew I was ready to be in a wedding. I rarely go to the ceremonies of my clients, most of the time I go to the church when I’m about to retouch for the post-nuptial photo session. But, this one is different. They really made me feel like I belong to their family and so I really didn’t want to miss the ceremonies. I was good the whole time. I knew I can be there. Until this moment right here…

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The family photo.

Just so everyone knows, I’m engaged to be married. My fiance was with my dad when they surprised me with the proposal in the airport.

When I’ve heard the host calling the family members for a photo opportunity with the couple, I was still alright because I wasn’t looking. When I saw them and they are all complete and all were so happy, I can’t help but think, “on my wedding day, my dad’s not going to be there.” I had a massive melt down right at that moment. My co-artist and my assistant pulled me out of the church to have a breather. I really wasn’t able to handle it. That was the time I thought to myself, “I thought I was ready. I was supposed to be ready. I guess I can’t be ready just yet.” So, on my wedding day, I don’t know if I will be ready. I might break down, maybe not, we really cannot tell. But one thing is for sure; my dad will not be there and it’s never going to be the same.

Since then, I told myself not to attend ceremonies just yet. I need to recover first until I can face these kinds of situations. I will just go when I need to retouch.

I always pray to the Lord that may He help me accept the fact that my dad is already gone. May He help me face these instances without breaking down. May He heal me from the inside. I am in need of total healing; emotional healing.

February 21, 2017, Tuesday

I had to wake up early this day. Not 6am early, more like 2am early to be in a place at 3am.

I needed to go to Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to ask for financial help with the remaining balance in my dad’s hospital bills. Just so everyone knows, if you want your papers to be processed on the day that you decide to go, you better get there early because there are people who even sleep there just to wait for the office to open. So, instead of waking up at 2am, everyone at home were just so exhausted emotionally and physically from the past days, not to mention that I had a fever the night before, and so nobody got up early. Luckily, my bladder went full at around 4:30am and I got ready and went to PCSO.

I was there with my cousin at around 5:30am and the line was already crazy. Imagine a 3/4 basketball court with benches lined up to fit in about 100-150 persons; that court was FULL!!! If I say full, I meant people sitting on the pavement outside and people sitting on plant boxes. You have to wait until it’s your turn so you got to entertain yourself and be patient. I have already slept, ate, walked around for about a hundred times. When, finally, my dad’s name was called, I had to be in line at once. The first thing that the lady asked me was, “did the patient already got out of the hospital?” I didn’t know what to answer but as quickly as I can say it, I just said, “patay na po” [he’s already dead]. They made us wait for a little longer, about an hour and scheduled us to just return on 3rd of May. My mom just signed a promissory note in the hospital for my dad to be buried. Now was are finding other options as to how we’ll be able to pay the debts from the hospital as soon as possible.

As weak as my body may feel, my mind is just so determined to do things. When everything just felt so bad, my body started aching, my head was throbbing, my whole body was shivering, I told myself, “I have to rest.” But, rest didn’t help either. The sun was so high, I turned off my fan, I had my dad’s sweater on, and 2 blankets covering me, yet it feels like there was an air conditioning device inside all those blankets and I really feel all the pain in my body. That was when I decided to talk to my dad and pray. I apologized because I know I could have done more for him. I apologized because instead of praying with him everyday I decided to pray for him alone. I apologized because I still cannot accept the fact that he is already gone. I asked God to help me accept and get over what I am feeling right now. My dear friends, I know you’ll tell me I’m insane but right at that moment I felt a very very warm hug all over my body. I have felt that my dad is telling me something I just don’t know what it is but I felt warm. I felt God’s presence. And, I kid you not, I did sweat right at that moment.

God’s presence can be felt. God’s love and miracles can be in any form. May it be tangible or intangible, big or small, it doesn’t matter, His grace and mercy is for us. If you want to feel God’s warmth, you just need to ask.

February 18, 2017, Saturday

It was the 9th day of my dad’s death.

We went to the cemetery to pay him a visit.

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After the cemetery, I needed to go to a client.

I had to go to the client’s place and do her make up for her Junior Prom. She’s a young lady excited to attend her first prom. We started doing the makeup and her mom was there supervising everything. I was trying my best to communicate and somehow be bubbly. Then, her dad came in. He was furious to see her daughter getting ready for prom. I was surprised when he started yelling, “you really are trying me, aren’t you? I will go to your school and drag you out there. You want to be the talk of the town, huh?”

At that moment, I thought of my dad. I remembered him as a very supportive father. During my Junior Prom, he was there. He was the one who took me to the hotel and made sure that I’m gonna have a great night. He was there to pick me up after the program to make sure I had a blast. He was so supportive that he was the one who drove me to the salon to have my face made up and my hair done. He has supported me in all my decisions, may it be work-related, social, or just random craziness, he was there to support me. Then, I also remembered that I have attended a prom when I was already in college, yet he was still very supportive. He, again, drove me to the salon, to the hotel, and picked me up after. He was just there all the time.

After those yelling and threats from a father makes me think that I am very special and that I am very very blessed to have my father. I was thinking of talking to the father of my client but I just stopped myself because it might fire back at her. I just spoke to my client and told her, “just enjoy every moment of your prom.” Not all fathers are supportive after all.

My family and the brothers and sisters of my dad decided to have a small gathering for the 9th day of my dad’s death. So we had a small party for dinner with some of my cousins, uncles and aunts, my grandfather, and my nieces and nephews.

It still is better to have a family support your back whether in good times or in bad.

WHY? HOW?

I have lost my father last February 10, 2017, Friday at 6:30PM.

We’ve been in and out of the hospital since October 23, 2016 due to heart attack and complications with his diabetes, kidney, and lungs.

It was a roller coaster ride for me. He had his heart attack 23rd of October, 2016, after a month I then lost my job. It, somehow, was a blessing in disguise because I was able to take care of my dad for the last few months of his life. I went back to my country and took care of my dad. My brother was there to help me out as well. He was the one helping out our mom while my sister and I were away. 14th of January, 2017 he was sent back to the hospital due to pneumonia. My dad was discharged after 9 days. 2 weeks after, he was supposed to have his check up with his pulmonary doctor but was already told to be admitted. He was not eating at all. The most that he can eat is 4 tablespoons full of food but tends to vomit after.

He was doing well in the regular room until they changed his catheter. He was unable to pee at that point and grew weak. I went home to take a bath and sleep for few hours since my mom and my brother were already there to look after my dad. After an hour or two of being home, I needed to go back to the hospital because I received a message from my brother that my dad will be sent to the ICU again and was already being intubated, and that only a machine is helping him to breathe.

To cut the story short, he was sent to the ICU, we were there from midnight of Wednesday. We were advised the next day that he needed fistula for dialysis and on the same day he was operated for that and had gone through dialysis an hour after given the fistula. Friday morning, he was supposed to have another session of dialysis but they cannot perform it because his blood pressure was too low. I went on to go to a client and had my mom look after him first. The dialysis was given but only for 2 hours instead of 3 because his heart rate dropped, his blood pressure was 70/50, and his oxygen level was at the lowest. I received a message that my dad was already being revived that time and so I had to rush back to the hospital. I got there too late. There was only a remaining 10 minutes to revive him. I was asked to have it stopped because my dad is already having a hard time and that his ribs will just be crushed due to the pressure, all I said was, “no.” That went on for the remaining minutes until they cannot do it all. He has given up and left us for good.

I wanted to do this blog, maybe not daily but at least twice a week, to release some tension, to let go of the thoughts that I cannot verbalize, to ease up the pain of losing a father, and maybe, to let other children realize that time is really essential and that all of us needs healing. That even if you expect things to happen, even if you think you are ready, sometimes life just hits you hard and crushes you with the thing that you thought you were ready to face. Time heals. Some takes just a minute, some for weeks, others takes months, years, decades, but for sure, time will help heal the wounds.