remembering papa: a daughter’s lament

note: papa was hospitalized on may 1, 2013 due to severe hyponatremia and hypokalemia (low sodium and potassium). he stayed and was confined in and out of the ICU for one and a half month. within that time frame, he had acquired hospital pneumonia and had a brain stroke. a team of doctors looked after him but we knew, since we were given the option to try a still-in-test medicine, that we were counting the days. Β only a miracle can save him.

they discharged him on june 12, 2013. on june 17, a day after father’s day, he joined our creator. he didn’t really took care of his health, but it was so sudden. he was just 47 yrs old. the silver-lining was, i spent the last night with him and he was surrounded by family before he left. he was not in pain anymore.

i wrote this morning of june 16, 2013, father’s day. papa was rushed into the hospital the night before and was confined again. the doctors at the hospital made us decide if he’ll be tubed again or bring him in the comfort of our home. we decided to bring him home. it was the hardest decision of our lives. for me, it seemed unreal. did they gave up on him? or did we?


i was never close to my father.

we see him as a safe driver, a blabber when drunk, a smoker, has a talent for drawing, a guitarist.

we never had a serious talk. he isn’t so much of a talker. but as most men are, actions speak louder than words.

when i was younger, everytime papa’s friends came over, we can hear him playing the guitar. my aunt bought me a piano organ and went to yamaha school. i never learned. instead, i learned to play the guitar on my own.

when i was in grade five, there was a storm and the school was flooded. he offered to carry me in the school hallways so i won’t be wet. i refused. i was 11 years old and i consider myself as a grownup! i felt stupid, papa making me feel like a child.

one day, he forgot to fetch me at school because he was drunk. i waited and cried at the guards’ office. afterwards, they taught me to commute.

everytime i was awarded with an honor, it was him who would go up with me in the stage. i dont know if he was proud of me, but in every picture he has a happy smirk. lol.

when i first had a boyfriend, i didnt tell them. when they learned about it, he never said anything to me. i thought he either trust me enough or he never cared.

growing up, i was angry at him for not being responsible. i was never proud of him. i thought i dont want to end up with someone like him.

when mama got sick, he never left her side. he was always there for her. i know that, that was unconditional love.

when i left home to work in manila, we were textmates. it felt weird at first, he called me ‘ineng’ in his texts. he never send any problems to me. he always said, ‘i love you and tc’.

when i got accidentally pregnant, he didnt get mad or crazy. i knew he was disappointed but unlike them i was kinda proud that i am already working. he just said that they were there for us. he didnt force us to marry. he said it was our decision. he just said he was just there for us.

when ysa was born, i know he was estatic. he told me that everything will be different, but he knew that we can do it.

when my husband left me and i went home, he didnt ask what happened. he just said they were there for me and i was home. since i was staying with them, he would wake up early to bring me tothe bus terminal and wait for me to get home. he never said to wait or leave my husband, he said to me ‘think of yourself and we are here for you’. then i realized, i was wrong to look for someone so different from him.

i never realized the sacrifice he had made for us to have a complete family. we were pampered and sheltered. i was already i college when i had a glimpse of the harsh reality. amidst the family issues and financial crisis, he was a symbol of contentment. maybe that’s why i didn’t aim higher. he sheltered us. he ate his pride for us.

i never said i love you to him. now his sickness got the best of him. i dont know if he can still understand me. it feels like his time is running out and he didnt make the most of it. i feel like it’s too late. i feel like i didnt do what a good daughter would do.

i feel like a helpless ten-year old child waiting in a guards house to be fetch by her father, who didn’t came.

today is father’s day. when we were younger we would be making handmade cards. a little bit older, we would text him and bring him cake. now, we are here, making the most difficult decision in our lives for him.

dear lord, i trust you. i have faith. i believe in miracles and to you we surrender papa. we will do anything within human knowledge. his life is in your hands now. we love him. amen.

to those who are angry at their fathers, forgive them. to those who are taking their fathers for granted, be grateful.

for just this day, tell them you love them. have no regrets. just for today, tell them you love them, even without words, they always do.


papa and ysa, christmas 2012

Leo Damaso R. Cerez

December 11, 1964 – June 17, 2013

a silent soul that loved his family more than life itself

we miss you papa.


4 thoughts on “remembering papa: a daughter’s lament

  1. Many men find it easy to say the words “I love you” but so few are able to show that love. How blessed you are to have had such a wonderful man in your life who showed you everyday how much he loved you. I hope that someday you can find peace and healing in the fond memories you have of your father. ♥

  2. It’s hard to lose a parent even if you weren’t close to them. 47 is so young.Write stories and things that you remember about your father so that someday you can share them with your daughter.May you feel the Lord’s comforting arms around you.

  3. thank you lisa. our family is healing. his life taught us that we can love even without words and that the important things in life are just an arm-length away.

  4. we can definitely feel god’s grace. he is not suffering right now. i just pray that he was happy before he left earth. i’m still in shock but life goes on. he left a legacy and as children, we should live by it,

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