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I Saw Your Tears Chapter 1

1 Your Tears


To the man I dearly love,

When I saw you cried the moment you finally saw your own father inside the casket, I also saw you in my mind carrying my own disabled father in your back. I saw you as you gently carried his full weight throughout the distance of their house along the rocky but muddy road to the main block. A 200- meter distance where you could hail a taxi that would take you all to the physical rehabilitation facility or wherever he was going to.

When I saw your shoulders moved as you sobbed, I, again, saw you in my mind helping him out of his couch to his wheelchair or his bed.

When I saw your tears rolling down, there you were in my mind with food and medicine in your hand for papa in a hospital bed.

I watched you as you silently wrestled out from so much pain and regrets and I knew very well that all those things that you did for him were now your own desires to do for a father you have not seen for so long even in his sick bed.

If only I had been able to cut through the barriers of finances and distance, you could have carried him, too, on your back. You could have carried him in your arms. You could have fed him with your hands and rubbed his aching back. You could have given him joy with the warmth of your presence.

Most of all, you could have knelt down by his side and you could have, in return, seen those tears in his eyes as you plead the Father for his life. You could have listened to his last whispers and felt that faintest beat of his heart. Or, you could have held his hands and placed them close to your heart as that last precious breath faded away.

No matter how much you wished to do those things you should have done for him, you could only helplessly watch him wheeled out from the house you called home. This home where he stood as your strength against the storms in your lives. This home where he was the hero against the battles of hardships. This home where he was the victor in raising up succesfully another seven pillars of new families.

You could only look back how this man lovingly treated those wounds in your knees when you were young. How he carried you in his shoulders. How he first taught you how to hold a ball and how he cheered for you on your first shot. How he taught you those menial things that made you now a responsible husband and father.

Now, as a father yourself, you understood more the pain he must had felt in longing to have you by his side on his deathbed as much as how you were hurting to see your own son wheeled into the operating room during his surgery. You now understood more his wish to gather you all around before he would close his eyes forever as much as why you would refuse at any request for your kids to sleep in someone else's home.

Your kids whom he never had the chance to play with. Neither the chance to make them wooden tops you once was so fond of as a child. Neither the chance to let them sit on his lap, wherein the next moment, would suddenly lay limp and asleep in his arms. Yet, these kids, whose veins run his very own blood, now looked at him as a complete stranger. I knew this was beyond your deepest regret as you remembered him walked down the aisle with you as he gave you to me. You knew that deep in his heart, as he watched you in that altar, he wished we would soon raise beautiful kids whom he would cherish on his golden years. But now he's gone.


Up that hill where we sent him to his final rest in that depths below the ground, the atmosphere was lonely. The breeze was crisp and cold, intensifying the melancholy that pressed in everyone's souls who gathered around in sympathy. From his tomb, stretched out before it the magnificent display of the wonderful artworks of hills and plains entwined with the intricate beauty of lush greeneries and mists. It was a great reminder enough that God placed him in a beautiful resting place. Someday soon, your tears will be silver drops of utmost joy and happiness as we meet him again in that grand reunion day!

As those tears dried up, I, suddenly, felt I had many of those drops welling up inside me which I was just trying hard to hold back. It was because I realized how great was the gift I received the moment I decided to say, "I do."

___

When we descended from the hill, he was silent. He never talked about his regrets. He never talked about his unspoken desire. He never complained and never blamed me.

And I just didn't know how to tell him that I also cared. That I was hurting for him. That I was so full of regrets for not placing heavier efforts to find means to enable him to go home while his father was yet alive.

If only I tried hard enough, there would be million ways, but I was too afraid that I would be pushed more into a bottomless pit of financial debts. Of financial struggles.

I didn't think much, that the chance I wasted and allowed to slip away, could no longer be retrieved while the money could still be found.

It was not his fault for being dependent on me. For relying on me financially, because, three years ago, I let him leave his job. His job, which was was our primary means of survival.

It just so happened that we were forced to make a choice. Our children's nanny died, and no matter how we tried to look for someone to replace her, we were just unfortunately unable to find one. Because, in the far and remote provinces, where the ladies used to find household job instead of finishing up some educational degrees, were now scarce. They became scarce because of the government programs forcing the families to send their kids into the schools. And finding jobs, which offered fairer salaries than domestic employment, became easier.

My first child was six and my youngest was one year old. One of us had to do a sacrifice and leave our current job so that one could take care of the children and the household. Since I had a more promising job, we agreed that it must be him to take the responsibility.

Part of the responsibilites which our nanny had left, were the household chores. While he prepared the children in the morning to send them to school, he also did the responsibility of bathing and feeding them, pressing their uniforms and cleaning the house. After sending them off to school, he did the laundry and ran for some errands I asked for him to do. Then, at lunchtime, he would go again to school to feed them and to bring the little one home.

Before he would come back to school later at four in the afternoon to pick up our eldest son, he would also attend to the needs of my hemiplegic father such as assisting him into his commode or urinal, feeding him and in transferring from his bed to his wheelchair. And three times a week, he regularly accompanied him to physical rehabilitation centers.

On this day as I watched him, I recalled everything that he did for all of us. And all those sacrifices he chose to do, would have been worthy of my effort to provide him his needs to go home and take care of his father while he was yet able to see and appreciate it.

I regretted it but I couldn't turn back the time. I regretted the fact that I did not appreciate or give any worth to his hardwork and sacrifices. Because if I did, I would have looked for ways, or I would have done the impossible just to reward him to be able to see his father before he closed his eyes.

I was so ungrateful all because I had this notion, that because I was the provider, therefore, all the respect and pride should be mine. And that he should wait for my decision in every plan and step that we had to take, also because , his being jobless made me now look at him with contempt.

Worst of all, I felt that all his labors and responsibilities deserved him. Not realizing that in doing so, I have robbed off his manly dignity and pride.

At this moment, his silence was killing me. It was sharper than the deadliest cutting weapon which tore my conscience apart. I was ashamed, too ashamed of my selfishness and dirty pride. All because I could not turn back the time.

With this, as pen can express better the language of the heart, I left him a letter. A letter which would tell him how sorry I was. A letter which could define how ashamed and guilty I became. And a letter which would tell him my desire to make it up to him.

After all, despite my mistakes and shortcomings, it didn't change the fact, that he was the man, jobless or employed, I still dearly loved.
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