July 8 12:09PM

time passed so fast yet so slow without you Dad. i wish i could be there to lay on your grass and feel close to you. but i’m stuck in the realm that is school, surrounded by the medicine that couldn’t save you. i don’t want time to pass because that just means i’m living without you, something that never crossed my mind, something i believed i wasn’t ready for until maybe age 40. but i also know time means i’m gaining some sort of strength, some understanding, some happiness. i try so hard to block all the days that led to your passing. the anger, the frustration, the guilt. i try to remember the good things then.

like when you called me to your bedside to tell me to stop crying. you were so strong for me when i should of been strong for you.

when i made it just in time to say i love you before your first intubation. you squeezing my hand through it all.

July 3 – you being strong for all of us to have one more day. when we asked you what you were thinking, all you did was point at us. Zedd just released his song with Ariana Grande. we danced to Destiny’s Child’s “Yes” and Pharrell’s “Happy”. we looked at pictures of the dogs. we played candy crush and hangman. i love you Dad so much for giving that moment to us. for agreeing to be intubated again so family everywhere could see you one more time. you were strong Dad. you gave it your all and now you are at rest, watching over us. i have to believe this was the plan all along. i have to believe that you were meant to be my sun, moon, and all the signs that will lead me through this life. i have to believe you lived your life to its fullest and all that you are will flourish through Mom, Jeanne, Jane, and me. i know i will falter and wish for your texts and calls, your cooking, your smile and laughter. i will wish for these things every second of the day, but i have to believe it will come, in this lifetime or the next that i will be with you again. until then, i will see you in my dreams.

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Manny

we were in the Philippines sitting on a stone wall. i was chillin, you were talking to Manny Pacquiao. seemed like a good day.

sad you’re missing this epic Warriors’ season, but you would of definitely been disappointed in the MayPac fight. too much hype.

summer is approaching and i’m getting more anxious. what used to be my favorite season is now the most difficult.

Big Sean

Well, I feel like everybody goes through dark stuff and hard times. She was the backbone of our family and selfishly I wanted her to live forever. But I stopped looking at it from a selfish standpoint and started looking at it like how a family member graduates from college. You happy for them, you know? She was in a wheelchair and in a lot of pain. And she had done so much in her life, and when I looked at it from the perspective of her graduating to something better and greater, she’s like a beam of light or an angel somewhere, I was happy for her. I wasn’t as sad at all.

3 at a time

its been awhile but my Dad met me in my dreams last night, but not in his ordinary fashion. considering my “worst behavior” as of late, i think it was appropriate. i was picking up weed somewhere and while i was waiting around, my dad with his stern but not angry look walks in. right then i already knew i was in trouble, so we both left the place. while walking to our own cars, i see him smoking. such a weird and ironic dream! part of me thinks he’s telling me to stop partying, doing drugs, and being wreckless. i mean, i did just come back from Miami and i’ve had my share of super hangovers to be concerned for my liver. but why weed? i don’t smoke that shit often. and why was he smoking? is it a connection to his lung cancer? i don’t know but as long as i get to see him, i’m happy with any scenario.

to top it off, my sister Jane and her best friend Nini also had a dream of him last night. what a busy guy.

“Dad was with me. He hugged me and said he’s doing okay. [He] misses us. I miss him.” -Jane

“The location was either your family party or it felt like Jane’s wedding reception. It was like tunnel vision and I was mostly with you and your sisters. Your dad was present the whole time but [he] didn’t say anything. No one interacted with him. But it seemed like you girls knew he was there. He was more observing. Just looking at you girls. You guys were mingling, eating, and drinking. Then at the end I finally noticed it was your dad, the realization, and he just looked at me and gave me a face like he was happy and proud at what he saw, like he’s still present and he knows everything that’s going on face. So I gave him a smile and a nod back and then I hugged him.” -Stephanie C.

i also had another moment at school. i was reviewing my test answers and Mrs. C (one of the administrative assistants, very sweet lady, but you have to stay on her good side) said to me, “Why do you need to look over your tests. You did so good. You know, I’m really proud of you.” I don’t expect the faculty to give me special attention because of my circumstance, so this caught me off guard. I stared at Mrs. C shyly and all i could see was my Dad speaking to me. between my dad and mom, my dad always checked in with me. he would always call, text, Facetime me to see how i was doing. those words just broke me down and i couldn’t help but leave school crying.

i miss you so much and i hate how fast time is flying without you.

new memories

so i’ve heard that they will come to you in your dreams when you are ready. as of late November, i’ve had three, each time waking up crying. they’re simple dreams but they seem to last for the whole night. never thought i could create more memories with you Dad, but with dreams i can.

my very first dream came after an emotionally draining argument with Zulu. the timing couldn’t have been any more perfect. i was questioning everything, and Dad just decided to show up. it was a sunny day and my best friend and i were going hiking. we were just closing up the car when we see my Dad happily walking down from the trail we were just about to start. he waved to us with his big smile and got into his car. i was shocked and kept asking Kathrina, was that my dad?! he looked happy, and i had a feeling then that he was no longer in pain.

second dream. my sister and i were eating pho (one of my Dad’s favorite dishes) and my Dad walks into the restaurant wearing his favorite leather jacket. i give him a big hug and ask him, where have you been?! he looks at me with his “don’t worry” smile and says, i will always be with you. he then turns to leave the restaurant, not looking back.

third dream. although it’s the most recent one, the details are a blur. i’ve been under the spell of sickness and jet lag. but also, this one didn’t really stand out to me. i don’t remember where or who i was with but i see my dad walking around. i tell someone and i approach him saying, Dad! he’s surprised as if he doesn’t know me, but he smiles anyways and plays along with my conversation.

i could interpret these dreams for days and spill all these emotions that come with them, but i want to leave them as it is – a happy memory.

solitude

“…I was forced to get to know myself better because I was stuck with nobody but me and me only. I had to learn self-reliance, I wrote more, I asked all the questions I’d never had to ask myself before. Most I didn’t have the answers to, but in hindsight, the fact that I was asking them for the first time was the reward. I was forced to find out who I was, without any social securities, friends or family around. It was easily the most difficult year of my life to that date, I did go half crazy, and it was one of the most important as well because it forced me to look inside, take some inventory and get to know myself better. Sometimes you have to leave what you know to find out what you know.”

-Matthew McConaughey

someone new

Banks, a songwriter who has been reading my mind lately. this is just one of many.

i know i’m not the only one, but being that it’s my first time losing someone significant, i never knew my feelings could change so drastically. about life, about love, about everything. i wish it hadn’t, but that’s life isn’t it? it’s heartbreaking to confess these feelings, but what’s more heartbreaking than not following your heart?