Bye Daddy, Take Care…
Those were one of the last few words I said to him.
The worst day of my life was on the 6th of May 2015. It was a day I was afraid that would happen, that I thought would happen…one day. And the day was on the 6th of May. There is just so much to write here because I am afraid that I would forget the details. I would forget how much fear, pain and sadness I had. As much as I want to let go and move on, I do not want to forget all those details because those were the last moments or memories I have of my father.
He was in the hospital when the doctor broke the bad news to him. He was then down with an infection and everything fell apart after that. Though we expected the day to come, we just did not expect it to be so soon. Mom called JP at 6am to deliver the news and after that, we made arrangements to go home. I cried so much that day. I cried when I spoke to mom because I was afraid that I could not see him for the last time. I cried when I spoke to dad on the phone, telling him that I will be back soon but I did not hear any response from him. But mom said he tried hard to answer “ah” (ok) and she promised me that she and my sister will stay by his side to keep him safe until I return. I cried as I apologized to my mother for not being there. I cried when I packed my clothes as I only wished to take the next flight back ASAP. I cried again when I opened the luggage bag to find the wedding dress he carefully packed for me in a plastic bag which was supposed to be used for my ROM in Germany. I cried and cried and cried….while listening to “Getaran Jiwa” because if was only one of the two songs that he knows how to sing. Might sound very sadistic to make myself so much sadder but cry was my way of “doing something”.
I cried on the way back, 12 hours of flight. I rushed to the hospital and I only remember running to him, crying to only thank him for giving me a perfect wedding, for all the travels throughout my life, a very happy family and for being a great father. I also told him that I love him a lot. He couldn’t speak but he responded. His forehead wrinkled while squeezing his eyes hard. He heard me, he heard us, JP and I. He teared, I bawled my eyes out.
I was told to be strong, to not cry but really, how can I stop myself when the last time I met him was when he was all strong and now he is unable to answer me, tubes connected to his neck and oxygen mask covering his mouth. It was a shock for me. Doctor said that he wouldn’t even make it through that night.
But daddy is a fighter because he stayed on for the next 3 days. He was calmer the next day and the reading of his pulse seemed better. On this day, he opened his eyes widely as my mom and sis arrived to see him. So wide that I saw, his eyes were glazed but he looked at all of us. I even told him that I recorded a new video for Nyonya Cooking. JP commented that it was very delicious. He gave us a shocked look, with an “O” shaped mouth. It was also that time he winked at JP as I sang “Getaran Jiwa” into his ears.
That night we went back to talk and cried so much as a family. I was filled with regrets for my last lunch with him was with much anger as he kept on giving JP food without caring about himself. Despite him being a sick man, an older man, he kept dishing food to JP. I was angry because I felt that Daddy would not take care of himself but only cared about others, which was very typical of him. Even though dad and I talked about it after that and I’ve already apologized, I just wish that the lunch could have been more pleasant. We talked our hearts out till wee hours in the morning, cried until we had puffy eyes.
There we many other moments when he gave me little responds especially when I told him stories, sang to him or told him jokes. Many said that he only responded to me talking. But the most memorable one was when my sister presented the Father’s Day card to him. My sister is a darling, a daughter every parent would want to have. The card she made had eight little envelopes, whereby each of it contained a message or photo of us all. We told dad beside his ears that my sister made the card and he teared so much. As my sister read the messages for him, he was very emotional. Mom kept asking him if he can see the card which we kept waving in front of his face. His eyes opened a little and he managed to say “Can”. That was the last word we heard from him. And that became sort of a closure for us.
Later that evening, the doctor invited us to her room to inform Daddy’s condition which was really bad. That time it hit me, Daddy isn’t going to be ok. Daddy will not hang in there for a long time. Doctor asked if we still wanted to give him more medications to give it another go, but one thing for sure, he will not be his normal self even if he ever gets better. My tears were uncontrollable.
Daddy was such a darling, even the doctor who took care of him was attached to him. Every morning when she did her ward rounds, Daddy would present her with a Kusudama ball which she now hangs on the tree in her office. Daddy left such an impression even to a stranger who got to know Daddy while he was visiting his father. Upon hearing Daddy’s passing, he came by our home and we were really surprised. I wonder what did Daddy do or say to leave such an impression? Something good I guess, as always.
When he left us, it was only mom, sis and I who were there by his side when he left. His respiratory reading dropped gradually as we all told him our goodbyes. Mom kept asking him to not worry about us but to just “walk on”. When we kissed him on his forehead, the respiratory reading jumped up. I don’t know if it was a coincidence but we would want to believe that Daddy stopped “walking” to turn back and he continued on as we all told him that we will be fine. The respiratory reading then dropped to zero and Daddy’s heart stopped.
He left us on Mother’s Day, the day mom wanted to receive her gift from dad which was to see him walk again. I guess, he is walking after all, without any pain. He is a freeman now.
“Daddy, we think of you everyday. We miss you everyday. Despite me smiling as I live my days, when night comes, I cannot help it but cry while listening to a random video you recorded of yourself few months ago. I have many unanswered questions in my mind but above all, having you off pain is the most important. I love you.“