THE FATHER, THE SON, AND THE EYE GEAR by: Sukito

It was a Sunday morning mass, can’t remember the exact date, when a priest said in his homily in Tagalog that it’s better to get angry with a person with hate words than totally not minding and noticing the person at all… for you are already considering him/her as dead and doesn’t exist anymore. That’s the sentence that struck me and made me feel guilty about myself especially when it comes to my relationship with my father. Suddenly, the lady sitting in front of me cried and collapsed afterwards in her seat as she was pulled out of the church by her company. I thought then that she’s more guilty as charged than I do. Anyway, here’s how my story goes, though I’m a little hesitant to share this and quite embarrassed for saying my own flaws. Yet, I’ve decided to impart it because someone might learn from it and heal their broken relationships in some way or the other.
I am the so-called “black sheep” of our family before. My father and I have this “cold war” going on between the two of us for ten years… and the whole family knows that. Before, my father always disapproves everything I do, my decisions, the people I’m with and anything about me under the sun. For that reason, I became quite rebellious somehow although I don’t show it to my mother to protect her from getting stressed out because of me. My father can’t show any affection on me that time and the only time we talk was when we argue and fight… I mean big fights. I should say then that he is an “absentee father”… meaning he is physically there but the presence of being a dad is absent. He’s not into showing affection maybe because of the “machismo” culture that the Filipinos have. To be fair with him, he’s good with my siblings and to my mom as well. Yet, I failed him in some of his expectations on me. Being visible of myself in his eyes ruins his day every time he woke up and crosses my path. Actually, behind my anger for him that time are sadness and longing for a father’s attention. I’ve asked myself many times… Am I never gonna be good enough for him? Are we always going to treat each other this way? Time came that I’ve gone tired of arguing with him over and over again everyday. I’ve decided to totally distance myself from him and avoid him as much as possible. I assumed that he is hopeless of being good to me and changing his treatment towards me. So. I’d better pretend that I don’t see him. The gap widens and it goes on for years. As much as I feel sorry for the whole family was affected by our cold war, I can’t do anything. For I am the one who’s only trying to adjust and change and on the other hand I don’t see any change from my father. All I wanted from him is for him to try to win me back and make me feel that I am his son too. And that I exist not as disgrace in his eyes but a boy who’s longing for a father’s love. It sounds cheesy like in the movies but I realize that it’s true in real life too. The “not minding each other” technique lowers the tension between the two of us. But, it did not solve any problem and it didn’t heal any pain.
Years passed and my rebellious days are over when I’ve attended this mass where I’ve heard that striking line. Until that day, my father and I were still not in good terms and not talking to each other anymore. That moment, I’ve prayed to God to take over and take control of the broken relationship that my father and I have had coz I don’t know how to start apologizing or doing the first move and if how will he respond to it.
The day after, my mother wanted our toilet to be tiled up. She asked someone to do the tiling. Unfortunately, it was wrongly done and was misplaced. So, my mom asked me to dismantle it and remove the misplaced tiles. While removing the tiles, I suddenly felt a tap on my shoulder and there’s a hand offering a protective eye gear and asking me to wear it to cover my eyes against the little broken tile pieces in the air. When I looked back… it’s my father. The world seemed it stopped that moment and I’m speechless while feeling a little awkward of the situation. I just accepted the eye gear and wore it and said my thanks. Hearing his voice again in a calm mode sounds music to my ears. There’s no dialogues, flashbacks, apologies and tear-jerking moments that took place between the two of us. I think we’ve read each other’s mind that we forgive each other and it’s understandable. I felt of being unloaded with a big burden and I feel light.
Up to this day, my father and I are in good terms of bonding and our relationship are getting stronger each day. And I bet that my mom and the whole family are rejoicing for that. God really works in different ways and sometimes in the most unexpected way you can never imagine. Until now, I still quite wonder if why did we waste of living our lives in misunderstanding and hatred for a decade and it was just solved in a snap with a simple tap and because of a simple eye gear. Quite funny and a miracle to me of how a simple act can make a big change in your life.
On the other hand, I don’t regret of having those not so good experiences in my life before. Because it taught me the best lessons and left me nothing but wisdom for myself to benefit later on with it and share this slice of my life with others. I can say now that I’m free from any anger and longing issues right now.
To all the fathers out there, literally or in any way, and to my father that I lost his presence with for many years and presently reconciled with… HAPPY FATHER’s DAY!

18 Comments

  1. thank you po sa lahat ng nag-comment, positive man o negative. gusto ko po talaga isulat ito ng tagalog kaya lang mas gusto ko rin po itong maintindihan ng ibang nationality para mas maibahagi ko ang aral ng buhay ko sa lahat ng tao ng anumang lahi at alam ko namang magagaling magbasa at umintindi ang mga Pilipino sa Ingles. Magandang araw sa lahat at salamat po 🙂

  2. @ mel banico….e kamo mas maraming pilipino ang makakaintindi ng english..bakit yung mga pilipino bang yun ni minsan hindi nagtalog…e alam mo naman na mas marami paring pilipino sa buong mundo na sabik sa wikang tagalog para lalo nilang maunawaan ang mensahe…comento lng walang personalan…masayang araw ng mga Ama sayo…

  3. @Boning Seraspe – Nabasa nyo po ba yung buong sinulat ni Sukito? Marahil mas pinili nya etong isulat sa wikang Ingles para mas maraming Pilipino ang makaintindi saang parte man sila ng mundo at mas komportable sya ipahayag ang kanyang sarili sa wikang ito. Napakaganda ng nilalaman ng kanyang artikulo, sana binasa at inintindi muna bago nagkomento. Belated happy father’s day din po sa iyong ama.

  4. I wish my mom would read this. I have the same story but that I didnt grew up with my mom. She left me in the care of her parents. I just wish she would tell me who my dad is. I am not speaking with my mom lately. It is hard …

  5. My Tatay is almost like that, he usually expresses his love and concern in actions and not so much in words. I wish the writer more years to spend with his father. 🙂

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