Sequel to Half a Life Time Ago.
April 15, 2012
Looking back at the fateful day of April 15, 1994… What if things would have ended differently??? Instead of the heart-breaking news that came. It was you that came home with your usual warm and funny personality. What if to this day, you were there to guide us and see how we grew up and became successful professionals.
18 years could have made a world of difference. Let me start with the last thing you taught me. The last thing you taught me was how to shave my facial hairs. My high school self has adopted your genetic structure in terms of facial hair and am starting to grow a beard and that is when I had my first shave. I need to relearn that as I now tend to go most of the time with the bad-boy unshaven look.
I think one of the daddy duties that would have easily been taught back then was driving a car and it would have been illegal to have my 16 year old self hold the steering wheel and drive. I learned to drive when I was 28 years old after finally getting enough funds to buy me a car. Imagine if I learned to drive earlier, I would have aspired to get a car earlier in my career.
And speaking of careers, I would have needed your fatherly advise sometime during my career as we have similar business degrees and you have the entrepreneurial spirit in you. For most of the time in my career, I was way ahead and carried too much load my early adulthood self could barely handle. Of course, I somehow got some resilience from your DNA that had me endure the tough times. I would have wanted someone to talk to when I was stressed or if I seem that it if I’m up against the impossible. You could have said anything and I would feel energize with the work at hand.
I think the major difference is that Mama would have her contra-pelo, you tend to balance each other with your ‘sutil’ ways and Mama being able to absorb it in her funny bunso-type of way. By the way, I did inherit some of your mischief along the way. It would have been great to come home once in a while with the whole family intact or you could have visited us in Manila where we could drive you around. Oh wait, I am not sure if you’d let me hold the steering wheel in your presence or you’d just say, I’m driving.
You always was an independent minded person and even if things were difficult back then, you won’t throw it back at us. You’d silently find a way to make both ends meet. You didn’t force the idea of being content with what we had but seeing the concept in your lifestyle, it did leave a mark. I somehow got your independent-mindedness. I take ownership of my actions and my problems. I don’t take it out on anybody but I just find a way to solve them.
The list could go on but the longer the list goes, the more I realize that you never left. You left as much of yourself in us all before that fateful day. The way we react to things… the way we endure… the way we are content… the way we own up to our action… It was you. It was how you would have done things. You did pass on the baton, albeit earlier than usual.
Your presence is what I could have wanted but it was always there. While it gets confusing to carry the name Francisco Ramon Jr. (as it’s both a common first and last name), I wasn’t just a Junior. I was you. Did I ever say thank you for all that. I probably wasn’t able to as you left so fast without any goodbyes but I’m thanking you by carrying out your legacy. I really appreciate how you molded me even if it was just for the first 16 years of my existence.
P.S. I’m not a fan of writing letters but I did enjoy writing this one as it felt like really talking to you on your death anniversary.