Jun 18

8 Things My Father Doesn’t Know

improvised fan

  • He doesn’t know he taught us to listen to what he was not saying. He is a man of few words so when he speaks, we pause and ponder (and at times, we panic).
  • He doesn’t know he taught us to read between the lines. He is not the ‘i love you’ type but we know he does love us. How? We just know.
  • He doesn’t know he taught us to be resourceful and creative. Growing up, we didn’t have much. No TV, no doll that closes its eyes when you lull it to sleep,no toy police car that blinks and sirens. But we had a memorable childhood. For who wouldn’t when we had ‘gadgets’ like no one had? I recall waking up one day to an improvised electric fan. It was with a popsicle stick propeller and powered by two AA batteries. We also had a toy car made of an empty plastic bottle of baby powder with wheels made of worn rubber sandal cut in circles.
  • He doesn’t know he taught us to be grateful and be happy with what we have. At one point, we had a little food on our table. He just sat there. He didn’t eat. Tears dripped from my eyes as I watched him take a sip of hot water (it was supposed to be a cup of hot coffee, by the way). He told me to stop crying and drink my coffee instead.
  • He doesn’t know he taught us self-discipline. He used to drink and smoke and gamble. But now, I can’t imagine how he managed to quit all three and indulged himself with serving the church through his passion for music.
  • He doesn’t know he taught us to be strong not for ourselves but for the people who hang on to us. A year ago, he was in a gorge between life and death. He could have given up his struggle but he chose to endure the pain. He chose to fight for us.
  • He doesn’t know he taught us that doing the laundry is not only a girl thing. Mama is asthmatic and gets tired so easily with heavy chores. So, he doesn’t have a choice but to fill that machine with soiled clothes and spin it.
  • He doesn’t know he taught us to be a lousy cook. It was only when I was living away from home that I learned to sauté. I learned not because I wanted to but because I had to. Well, why should I be interested in cooking when we have the best chef in the house?


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