Reflections of a Middle-Aged Daughter on
Her 83-Year Old Dad
That's me on the left, my daughter Toni, Lilia and my Dad (He's cute! 4'8", I think. But his Dad is tall but my 'Lola' is short like him.)
Three weeks was the allotted vacation time from work given to my Dad, and tomorrow, he and his wife, Lilia, will go home to Hawaii. But I got to spend perhaps only a little more than a week with him because he had to go to Bulan, Sorsogon to visit his family and to Roxas City to visit his wife's family. It was a hectic vacation for them.
Yes, my Dad still works at his age and still earns. He is still able to help out his family in Bicol whenever he can and send some of his 'apos' from my cousins to school. His wife, who is 3 years younger than me also works. They work hard there in Hawaii and they said they don't really have idle moments.
With my husband, Jojo
I used to remember my Dad coming home from work carrying multi-colored candies on his hands giving each one of us (we're six) with a smile on his face. He became a guerilla for the U.S. army in the 2nd world war, worked his way through college and worked for the government, got two Master's degrees--one in the Philippines and the other at Manchester University in England. My mother (we called her 'Mamang') died of lung cancer at the age of 48 (although she never smoked) and Dad became a widower in 1981. He became an American citizen because he was a veteran who fought the 2nd world war for the U.S. And Lilia became his wife and has been for 16 years.
When I see my Dad and Lilia, how they laugh at silly jokes, how Lilia listens intently to my Dad's never-ending stories about his life and adventures, it never ceases to amaze me that love never fails at all. Truly, the hand of God is upon my Dad and I am soooo very grateful to the Lord for his life. For giving him someone who cares for him and take care of him. Unlike other 'madrastas (step-mothers), Lilia is family to us although we rarely see each other.
With Lilia and Toni
Together with the never-ending stories are never-ending names of the people he met, worked with, befriended and un-befriended. That's one thing I pray that I will get from my Dad--his keen memory especially of names. Although he spent nearly 8 months in the hospital for many ailments, my father still has the strength to work, to travel, and to be generous to people and enjoy life. I say, he is a success in his own right.
I've always remembered my Dad reading the Bible when we were young. He claims he had received Jesus as his Lord but he still goes to a Catholic church. My husband brought him to our church, Alabang New Life Christian Center, last Sunday but he had taken anti-cough medication so he felt drowsy while he was in church. Well, his time will come soon.
Funny how the years go by. Now I am in my golden years and yet, it's as if I am not because my Dad is alive and kicking and God will continue to satisfy him with long life, indeed. To me, much is there to be thankful for because at his age, he is able to care for himself, to be generous to his family and to us, to share life with a special someone, to be useful and helpful to his friends and to his community. I know God will hedge him all around and his true salvation is at hand.
Thank You, Lord, for my Dad!