To the First Man I Ever Loved

by joanabagano

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Dear Pops,

Mornings aren’t the same without you (and afternoons and evenings too). I get homesick when I remember how you like barging into my room and snuggling in bed with me before you have breakfast and leave for work. I may pretend like you’re disturbing me but the truth is, I appreciate it a lot. Not a lot of fathers do that to their grown-up kids and it takes a certain childlike fervor to make it a habit.

You taught me how to walk. It is a fundamental locomotion skill for a human to walk and because it is so basic and common, people tend to undervalue the beauty of it. Walking has become a calming regimen and because of you I’ve made it not just a skill but a hobby. I will forever cherish the millions of walks we’ve had.

I can talk to you about most anything. Thank you for listening to my rants and my silences, for scolding me when I wear my heart on my sleeve and for picking it up when it falls off the seam and gets almost broken. You know who I idolize, who I hate, who I’m crushing on and who my real friends are. You have heard my loudest cries, my sniffles and you know when I’m keeping something or choking back tears.

I miss hearing you singing hymns in the morning. I know you’re working on getting your lyrics right and whenever I’m home, I’ll do my best to listen well and teach you the right pronunciation so you won’t have to get hard up with your Igorot-ish accent. It’s okay, though, because there really is no ideal English accent. You know that. 😉

Thank you for turning our house into a library. I will go through this lifetime and not have enough days to finish all of the books you brought home. You have been one of my greatest teachers and mentors.

I know a lot of people are saying that I’m growing to be more and more like you. It’s a good thing because I know how great of a man you are. I am still a few blocks shy of your greatness. Don’t worry, I’ll get there.

Thank you for loving mom, me and my brothers and most of all, for loving God. I am such an admirer of your faith and how dependent you are on Him for everything our family needs. He has honored you so much and I believe that He is not yet done with you. He still has a plan for you. Go on, pops, I know how it is your desire to reach out to the far-flung communities. I am right here, hands folded, heart warmed, lips curved upward.

Forever your little girl,