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This Is How I’ll Remember You: A Letter to My Late Dad

It was around 5:45 PM when mom called, telling me you’re gone. I can’t help the tears from falling, but I tried to keep my smile.

The thing is, I am okay. I managed to believe that these things happen, it’s inescapable.

But when I rushed home to see you one last time, the pain came rushing in. The kind I can’t run away from, the kind that weakens my knees and fills my heart with ache. I was not okay.

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The thing about losing a loved one is that: once they’re gone every single memory you have will come vividly like it just happened 5 minutes ago. I remembered everything. Every single memory.

I remember all the sweet hugs, the genuine kisses, the fulfilling I-love-yous, the dates, the adventures, the meaningful walks and talks, the times we would gladly bring you to the airport, the goodbyes, the one-year waiting ‘til you’re home again. The non-stop phone calls, the unlimited how are yous, the cute packages and the thoughtful cards.

I remember all the life lessons— be kind and generous, value your education, work hard if you want something and always forgive and never hold a grudge against anyone. I remember the sacrifices, tears, the years spent away so you could give us better lives.

The work endured so we could enjoy the pain so we could live conveniently. I remember the first time we rushed you to the hospital and how my heart crashed into a million tiny pieces, how terrified I was just thinking about the fact that I might lose you anytime.

I remembered it all.

And everytime I remember it, I can’t help but smile, not because I don’t miss you, but because you left nothing but good memories to recall, good stories to tell — you have made our short time together, worth it. It hurts to know that I just had a sweet, incredible 22 years with you. I want more, I want more years, more moments and more memories.

So today, Dad, I’m writing you a card, like the good old days. And it doesn’t matter if it’ll reach you or not, sending you a thoughtful card is a way for me to celebrate the unforgettable moments we had together. This is to let you know that I still remember and appreciate you, even when you’re already gone. I know, you are smiling in heaven while reading this. You are assured I can make it through. Because for what it’s worth, you raised me well. You raised a strong person. I will be okay.

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