Last night, he had finally said the words I’ve been waiting to hear ever since I was a child. Even though it wasn’t in the way and during the time I really wanted him to do so, it finally set my heart free. I cried so much last night.
I dreamt about my father last night. I dreamt of him lying on the bed, the same way he was when he drew his last breath by my side 13 years ago. And just like 13 years ago, I was sitting near him, with enough distance for me to be able to hear even the most subtle of whispers, the calmest of breaths. I was resting just as he was also, and my eyes were falling to a dangerous close when he heaved a few words.
Those words I’ve been waiting to hear.
“They told me you went to the market to buy me food, just a few hours before I woke up. You did that to prepare my breakfast, right?”
My eyes shot open. He was speaking normally. He wasn’t like the usual. He knew it was me. His illnesses weren’t blocking his ability to recognize me – his last daughter.
“I am so proud of you”
Then and there, tears fell down from my eyes. My physical body was also producing tears. My subconscious state and my conscious state merged and I was crying. I woke up crying.
It was a message sent from the heavens.
So, here’s my reply to you.
Daddy, those years were hard for me. For my heart, for my mind, and for my body. I felt beat almost every day of my life, and I lost a lot of things. I was forced to mature early because I needed to be strong and my mind needed to be opened to the harshness of the reality I was born with.
I felt alone every day. And I’m sure my mother felt the same way. I cried in my own solemn corner whenever I feel pain, because I refused to show you my tears. Even when you were finally enclosed in that dreaded vessel that took you to the flames the engulfed your body, I didn’t cry. They were crystallized with every suffering that came my way, with every dreaded scene in front of me.
But I never blamed you for everything.
Every early morning I needed to force myself to get-up and prepare everything for you – it was from my own will. It hurt when I had to give up a year of my own life – but I knew you needed me. It hurt every time you failed to recognize me because you were so sick, it hurt because I don’t have any recollection of your healthier days – the days when you still held me knowing I was your child. But I never once believed that all the hurt was caused by you.
Daddy, if I could turn back time, I would want to be born during the time you still had enough control over your body. I would like to spend time with you – talking about dreams and ideas. I would like to travel the world with you, I would even talk boy stuff with you. I would play games with you, even if I have to give up my dolls.
And I would love to hear you tell me you love me.
And even if I did not get anything from you, but just pieces of happy memories my mind can still recollect, I feel it deep in my heart – I am your daughter. I can’t remember your most genuine of smiles, I can’t remember your most loving gazes. But I know, you smiled and gazed at me genuinely even just once, with the remaining ounce of strength you had during those last days.
I know, you can remember me. And all those bittersweet times we spent together. Because I remember.
Not because I hated you, but because those were times spent with you, my father. My one and only father.
And I would repeat it again, what I did after you said those words in my dream last night.
When I kissed your cheeks with tears flowing from my eyes, while saying:
“Even if I was to be born again, I would still wake up and go to the market, with my petite body, to prepare breakfast for you. I would still choose you as my father. I love you daddy, and thank you”
Please mail this letter to the heavens.
Your daughter, Ica.