My dad lived a good 82 yrs of his life on earth. I find it hard to write his eulogy because I feel like he hasn’t left the building.
Every time my brothers and sisters get together with my mom for comfort, strength and support, we wind up laughing and talking about dad and his goofy and unique ways.
Surely we cry in sadness because we miss him already. We know that it might take some time for us to see him again. We cry because we have a strong physical connection with him, and now, we can no longer hear his voice, hold him, smell his scent, do barbe ques with him, take him on vacation, have a few beers with him, and all the fun stuff we are accustomed to doing with him.
It seems like where ever I go, he is always there. You can’t help but smile or laugh when you think of Daddy. He was easy to please and quick to comply. My younger sister refers to him as the rice brigade. Whenever we have dinners, we never get low on rice. He is just on top of it.
He has his ways of annoyingly aggravating you for little things.. and only to remind you that life is meant to be fun, and not taken so seriously.
You never hear him complain about anything. He loves to read the papers, listen to news, and repeats what he just heard as we watch the same program with him.
Dad was a loving husband in his own little ways. He is quick to forgive and slow to anger. My mom recalled a story that happened a long time ago in the earlier years of marriage. In their fight, mom asked him why he even married her. Expecting an antagonizing response, Dad, without batting an eye, said, because “I love you”.
He may not be the kind of romantic who sends flowers and cards, or remember anniversaries and birthdays all the time. He showed it by cutting up fruits for her, sharing the last piece of donut, reminiscing their younger days, or going shopping with her.
Dad is generous and unselfish. He would consistently find money on the ground, win small lottery, win casino bets, and he would be so eager and happy to share his loot .
I miss his war stories and tales of when he was a young boy – how he gathered classified information from the Japanese, and warned the American soldiers of the ambush, how, as a young handsome man, managed to escape from a desperate woman who hogtied him because she wanted to marry him.
There are so many things I would like to share about my dad. I was his personal barber. When I was out of town, he would wait for me. This was our special bonding time to talk about anything and everything about nothing. And when I first saw him in the hospital, the first thing he asked is if mom knew I was here. And then gestured for me to give him a haircut.
When my sister from Australia told him that she had to leave sooner because she needs to find a job, he said in gasping breaths “ I’ll pray for you”
Our dad was an amazing and wonderful father. He loved us unconditionally. We have been blessed to have shared the last few months with him in his bedside, and be able to say our goodbyes.
Dad uttered some sound before he passed on. Mom and I could not make anything out of it, so we asked him to write it down. We could not make it out either. It started with an F A R…
It troubled me at first that I could not make anything out of it. Until one day, while I was driving, it came to me.. he was bidding FAREWELL . Not goodbye, bye, or see you later… He went formal on us.. He went with grace and style. We went in peace.
They say that losing a loved one is one of the most difficu lt things we can go through in life. I disagree. First of all, we didn’t lose him. We know where he is. We just cannot touch him, here his voice, and smell his scent from where we are.
But that’s okay. His legacy is within us. He is our inspiration. We are proud to be his children, and husband to mom. His love is here to stay.
With dad’s name like Teodulo, which means “gift from God” or “God-servant”, It think it is safe to say that he lived up to his name.
Until we meet again, Daddy.