Shouts on a Friday morning
Friday. The day when we utter “Thank God it’s Friday.” The day we all love because Friday is synonymous with rest and sleep. The day when almost everybody heads to and roams around the malls.
But to me, there was this one Friday that led to a big change in my life.
I thought it was just another day, except that I heard loud rants the morning before I went to school. It was 3 a.m., when I woke up to somebody’s shouts. I got up with irritation, because I hated waking up to other people’s noises. It was, I thought, not a good way to start the day.
At 2:35 p.m. on the third Friday of November 2012, I received a text message from my sister who asked me to go home as early as possible.
Along with that message were the words, “Nasa ER si tatay.” I was nervous, but I couldn’t get excused in class. I didn’t want to; we only had a subject left.
I didn’t mind the text message because I thought it was just another confinement. Like the ones before, my father would get confined for days, but he would recover, too.
After an hour or so, I was on my way home with my classmate when I received another text message from my sister. She asked me to go directly to a funeral home.
I tried to comfort myself: My father was at home and my sister was at a funeral of someone close to us. Though I knew what my sister meant, I didn’t want to believe her message, so I kept lying to myself.
I sat in the bus, unnerved. I didn’t want to think of death, but the thought kept flashing in my mind.
My classmate and I were walking on the footbridge after getting off the bus when I experienced something I had never felt before: My knees began shaking, my heart was pounding, and my hands were all sweaty — all at the same time. I was clearly nervous, afraid of what I had to face when I got home.
In the living room was my nephew’s nanny watching TV. I didn’t ask her anything, because I didn’t want to hear the truth. I went straight to the bedroom and locked the door.
My mother called me on the phone and asked me if I had any idea why they were at the funeral home.
I answered her with a question, too: “Si Papa?”
She replied yes.
I knew it all along. I was right.
As for the shouts the night before, those were his. He was shouting because he was so tired of the pain. He was shouting because he could not take it anymore. He was shouting to complain why God had given him such an illness.
Though I hated how he was making such a noise at that ungodly hour, I now think of the sounds my father was making as precious shouts. Those were the last words I heard from him. That was the last time I got to hear his voice.
When he was still alive, he always reminded me to take care of my mother. He would tell me this every single morning, because he knew death was going to come any time soon. But that Friday morning, I didn’t hear him say that.
His death taught me a lot of lessons. At the same time, it was his death that made me long for someone who would be there even in my darkest times. I needed someone who would fill the emptiness I had because of losing him.
I wanted a father’s love, and the Father I found came with a capital F. I learned to pray. I may have lost my earthly father, but I found my Heavenly Father.
That heartbreaking Friday and those painful shouts — they are forever in my memory because they were my last moments with my father.
Thank you, Father, for that Friday, and for the shouts.
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Nikka G. Legaspi is a fourth year psychology student at Ateneo de Manila University.
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