It has been months since anything ‘big’ happened in my life. When I say big, I mean something that would change the daily (boring) routine I follow.
It’s the evening the 19th of this month when my ‘it’s just another day’ outlook was shaken by a big news (No, I wasn’t excited about the super moon).
I was a bit worried that evening because my tatay, who usually goes online early evening everyday, was not yet messaging me. I was worried because there are still dangers after the Japan tragedy. It was around 11pm then when tatay messaged me. It turned out that we really have something to worry about that evening. His message read, “Wala na si daddy.”
Domingo delos Santos, or ‘Domeng’ is my paternal grandfather’s older brother. He is the eldest among 4 children of our great grandparents. He is everybody’s ‘daddy’. He is loved by everybody in the family.
Being the youngest in our family, I (admittedly) have the least emotional attachment with most of our relatives. I was the less known by most and oftentimes mistaken as my older brother. But Daddy’s family is different. Our family is closer to them compared to others because my tatay is so attached with Daddy Domeng.
I honestly feel a little aloof and uncomfortable whenever I am in the presence of some relatives but that changes whenever we are with Daddy.
I look at Daddy as my true grandfather since both of my real grandfathers met their inevitable endings earlier than we wished they did.
My emotional attachment with Daddy strengthened as the years went by. He’s always the one who asks me ”Kamusta kayo?”, “Anong balita?’ , “kumain na kayo.” whenever we meet. Simple gestures like those made feeling comfortable with him and his family easier.
One of my most treasured memory of Daddy was when they attended my high school graduation. My tatay was the one who suggested that we invite Daddy during that day. I would never forget the smile he wore whenever he accompanied me to the stage to receive awards.I remember how my tatay relayed to me how proud and happy Daddy was during my graduation. That made me love Daddy more.
He was also there during the time when our family hit rock-bottom. We knew we can tell him everything without any fears of being judged. We knew that he’s always there to listen and to care.
The moment we first visited him after his passing, I can’t help but get teary eyed while I was looking at him through his casket’s glass. I was thinking, visiting their house would never be the same.
I would always remember how he listens attentively to every story we share. I would always remember his being appreciative of whatever we give him. I would always remember his smile when he gave him a copy of our picture during my graduation. I would always remember the concern he showed our family when we needed it most. I would always remember how he loved the chicharon we always give them whenever we visited them. I would always remember how sweet a husband he is to his wife, Tita Toneng. I would always remember him as he is, the loving and ever-caring Daddy Domeng that he is to everyone in the family.
Daddy Domeng, we will surely miss you. Salamat po sa lahat ng bagay at ala-ala na iniwan nyo sa amin. Salamat sa pagmamahal at pagkalinga. Hindi po namin kayo makakalimutan. You will be forever in our hearts.