Last night Eric asked me if I still remember my father. I forget the reason he asked me that... probably we were discussing typhoon Frank and its victims, or last week's Father's day (or it was just an out of the blue question -- we tend to do that). I answered, quite honestly, not so much.
The pictures help of course. Ten years spent with Tatay yielded several photo albums. What I'm missing now, which is kinda sad, are the little facts that made my life beyond the birthdays and holidays. More than the smiles and the poses (especially those cheesy ones where I had to touch one of the leaves in our plastic Christmas tree).
So I'm trying the game now. I'm trying to catch up with the last 14 (almost 15) years, but that'll be 5,110++ details. Such a long list that I might not even fill out. Anyway, these are the things that I still remember. Not really little facts, but...
- My father shaved his moustache only once. I don't know the reason behind it. Probably because that was the time his hair fell off after chemo and he was going for a Mr. Clean look. Not a good look for him.
- He has this distinct sitsit. And it has varying tones; I know if he's just calling me or he already has his handy leather slipper (or belt) ready.
- He bites his lower lip when he's pissed off. He does that especially when he means "I'm warning you". So all one can see are the little tufts of hair beneath his nose. Like a pseudo-sea lion (or was it walrus?)
- He makes farting sounds with his armpits. I can do it before with my two hands, and sister #2 can do it with her the-one-behind-the-knee.
- He likes his button-down shirts tucked. That's why everyone called him groovy.
- He lost half of each of his two front teeth after diving in a shallow pool. The dentist opted not to pull the other halves out, so dental caps were placed.
- He sang Florante's "Handog" (as in the "tatanda at lilipas din ako...") to sister #2 and me once. This was when I was six or seven. Of course he promised then that the "lilipas" part won't be soon.
- I made him cry twice. The first time was when I disobeyed a direct order of NOT drinking water after a long trip (and worse, before a family meal...), and the last time was during my tenth birthday -- my last one with him. We said "I love you to each other", him during fits of nausea and hiccups that were the effects of radiation, so we ended up crying. Actually we both cried on both instances, come to think of it.
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I just learned T's dad passed away tonight.