I’m writing this letter more for my sake than yours, Pang. (It’s a bit too selfish, I know. But please, allow me tonight. Dear reader, do keep reading at your own volition. This is a letter to my late dad whom I’m trying to keep alive in my memories by writing.)
A day before your birthday, I asked a friend: how does one celebrate the dead? To which said friend replied, “Oh, for your dad?”. It seemed more statement than query. I merely smiled. A reply my friend couldn’t have seen from his side of the phone. He then proceeded to tell me how I can do rituals like light a candle then talk to you until the candle burns out. I told him I didn’t think I have enough words to last a candle. He said, “Write, because you are not the talking type, you are the writing type.” (Again, I am stereotyped. XD ) I couldn’t care less so I let him rant on about what else I can do for you on your day. I was trying to process how these “rituals” are more of a therapy for those who are left in the physical realm. A consolation to appease the loneliness felt. Also inside my head, such thoughts were running around chasing each other along with a few others. Your birthday and death day are just three days apart from each other. Would it be better to celebrate in the middle day? How would I go about it? I need to be at school on your death day. Will I be able to get through it without casualty?
I spent today at school. We surprised a classmate celebrating her birthday. 🙂 I brought the cake with me by noon. I added a trinket and candles. Then surprised her along with my other classmates. She’s become a close friend, dad. You’d have liked her if you met her. She’d be one of those friends you’d look for and ask about. We danced together at this one competition. She’s a great dancer. She also knows her way around music and the guitars. (And beatbox, too.) She’s a fan of my handwriting, apparently. And also my sketches. Both skills, I got from you and mom (but mostly you, I guess XD ). I was really rooting for a happy memory today.
Earlier than that, I stayed up the night before until around 6am this morning for our thesis data analysis. Also, I was up talking online with another friend who sent me a GIF with Timon and Pumba in it (among a barrage of other GIFs). I was reminded of my first cinema experience with you and mom. Then the teasing about how you were Timon and mom was Pumba. It’s a golden childhood memory among many others. :p I couldn’t stop thinking about you since May rolled in. I guess I really missed you that much. I couldn’t help it. Five years does not change the fact that I’m still a daddy’s girl. You are and will always be home to me, Pang. I hope your soul’s doing fine. Don’t worry about me. You’ve taught me well during the 20 years we’ve spent together. Also (and most importantly), I have my Heavenly Father to rely on. That will be more than enough. And I guess that ends my sky lantern for this year, dad. Like I told my friend, I do not have much words to burn out a candle.
I have and will continue to keep you with me. My left ring finger still wears a constant reminder. I am my Father’s daughter.
burning to keep you with me,
I was thinking that this post is too personal.
Then I realized that this blog was supposed to be.