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Why Dad Cried

My dad is a tough guy but he’s also gooey on the inside, especially when it comes to family. I remember the first time I saw him cry because of me. I was in second year high school then and was still not allowed to have a boyfriend. But stubborn as I was, I got myself into a relationship and dad found out eventually. I still recall that morning when he told me he wanted to talk to me. I sat down on the sofa with guilt written on my face. Dad sat beside me quietly. When I looked up, tears were welling up from his eyes.

He told me in between croaks, “Dorothy Mae, anakko, leppasem kadi pay lang ti panagadal mo! Uray agpakasar kanto nga sigud no makagraduate ka ti college. Ti nasken ket makalpas ka. Uray siak to pay ti aggastos ti kasar mo.” (Dorothy Mae, my child, please finish your studies first. You can get married right after college, if that’s what you want. I can even shoulder all the cost of your wedding, as long as you finish college first.)

It was a lengthy sermon from my dad and all I could say was, “Wen (Yes), Dad.” I wanted to tell him that I wasn’t planning on getting married at that moment or in the near future but I just kept silent. After that, I did break up with my boyfriend then. I think we got back together after a few months but it eventually ended when I had to go away for college.

Of course, I finished high school – with honors – and graduated from college on time. I’m pretty sure my dad was so happy to see me finally receiving my college diploma. He must also have felt relieved that I didn’t have a boyfriend that time.

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