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Archive for the ‘feely’ Category

The push and the pull.
The unraveling.
The slow drawing apart; the quiet need.
Underneath my skin, burrowed, entangled.
It wasn’t what I wanted. It’s not what I meant.
And yet here we are again. Here I am again.
And so it begins.

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Or Why I Can’t Talk About My Dad without Feeling Conflicted.

When I went back to the Philippines in March, it was to accompany my grandmother back home so she could see her oldest son sworn in as he took command of the Philippine Navy.

This also meant days upon days of ceremonies, parades, luncheons, dinners, and general hob-knobbing. It also meant that I would tag along and be introduced by my uncle as “Alex T’s daughter,”…”Yes, that Alex T, Class of ’77.”

It was odd and awkward.

Most of the current Generals of the Military, the Admirals of the Navy, and the Chief of Staff of the Philippines were Class of ’77. They all knew my father. They all told me stories.

Some stories I had heard before from years long past. The same stories that made me look up to my father and idolize him completely. Stories about how he stood up for a fellow “plebe” during “hazing” and ended up being beaten by a steel pipe. A few broken ribs later, that fellow classmate became his friend for life. Some stories were funny, like using spit as a quick shoe-shine during inspections. Others told about his slightly reckless, often brave acts during guerrilla fights in the South. Still, there would be a few officers who would just smile, shake their heads and say, “He was so young when he died, wasn’t he?” I would nod and confirm, “44, sir.” A hand would be placed on my shoulder. “He would have been up here with us, no doubt. He was on the fast-track to Five Stars.”

In moments like those, I would hold my head up, smile, nod and be proud that I was his daughter.

But no one ever tells stories about the darker side of a person. No one ever goes to someone’s kid and tells them what an awful father she had. No. But I know. And it is because of that knowledge that I cannot simply smile and be proud. Instead, I feel ashamed that he was such a good man in some contexts, and such a terrible one in another.

I know we cannot expect our idols to be forever perfect. We cannot expect to grow up and not find out some terrible things that our parents did when they were young. But my mom once told me that it was my father’s sins and the secrets that he kept that ultimately killed him.

Maybe that’s true. Maybe it’s just my mom being hurt. But I do know that I cannot talk about my father without that double edged sword sliding in between my ribs and stabbing me.

I loved my father. He was my hero.

He also ultimately fell from grace, and yet despite that, I still remember being a seven-year-old, watching wide-eyed with pride as my father suited up and pinned all those medals of honor on his uniform.

A fallen hero is still once a hero. That doesn’t change.

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You ask me what my favorite memory is.

And I laugh and say that there aren’t many to choose from. It was meant to be a light joke, but I’m somber all of a sudden at the truth of the statement. There aren’t many and I doubt there will be many more.

It’s doubt that’s the enemy, isn’t it?

I tell myself to have faith. To believe. To hope.

But no, Buddha was right when he said:

There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.

But I do. I doubt. And it kills me.

You hear it in my voice and soon I hear it in yours. If I can’t have faith, how do I expect you to believe in me? If I refuse to believe in you, how can I expect you to stay?

“I’ll miss you, too.”

Is that your way of acknowledging that I’m pulling away? Is that you saying goodbye?

I close my eyes and sigh.

It’s the way you always curve your arm around my waist every time you walk by me. Whether I’m brushing my teeth or getting a glass of water, you pass by and your arm snakes around my waist slightly, then your hand runs across the small of my back before you continue on with wherever you’re going. It’s the way you give me that teasing look on your face when I get scared. You laugh and whisper encouragement but you always say, “Don’t look at me with those scared eyes.” You somehow know just how to bring the fearless out of me.

It’s the way you make me feel flawless.

It’s the way you lace your fingers with mine as we sit and talk with your friends, or when we’re sitting at the dinner table drinking our wine; it’s the way you squeeze my hand so hard I can feel your bones fuse with mine just before I say goodbye.

You ask me what my favorite memory is, and I want to say, “You are.”

But I can’t.

And so, someday, I know I’ll sit in front of the sunset feeling the sand slip right through my fingers and I’ll miss you, too.

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Trouble is…

If I’m not doing it, how can I expect you to do the same?

I could hope.

But then again, you could be hoping and I’m here knowing that it’s in vain.

I could be a fool.

But I don’t think I’m strong enough to be foolish.

I smell trouble. Worse, it’s a double standard on my part.

Evirrrr.

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Fix You

This piece is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL.

 

The passion, the music, the choreography. Allison is an amazing dancer, and Robert was phenomenal in this one. I especially loved the last few seconds of the piece, where Robert nudges Allison to take a step–to move forward. And when she could not do it on her own, I loved how he came up behind her, put her arm around his shoulders, lifted her and walked for her. It reminds me of that proverb: Footprints in the Sand.The person looked back at his life and noticed that in the hardest, saddest moments only one set of footprints were on the sand. He asked the Lord why He had abandoned him, but this was the reply:

I love you and I would never, never leave you
during your times of trial and suffering.
“When you saw only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you.”

Anyway, this contemporary piece choreographed by Travis Wall, totally made me cry because I have been in Robert’s shoes before. I have been around and loved people who have been broken before: emotionally, physically, medically, or psychologically. Sometimes, there’s nothing more that you can do for these people but to try…to look them in the eye and pledge your love and commitment.

My mother once said, “If you love someone, there is no such thing as sacrifice. You simply do everything in your power to protect the people you love. You carry their burdens and you love them more.”

So when the people you love are broken, you tell them to put all their weight on your shoulders. You pick them up when they are down even if it will mean you won’t be able to get up either. You hold them. You protect them. You love them. You tell them, “I will try to fix you.”

Most times, you can’t. No one can. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Most of the time, even after having given it your all, you’re still left behind with nothing but the tears streaming down your face and the weariness of trying. But you don’t regret it–at least I don’t. How can you ever regret doing everything you could for someone that you loved?

Fix You by Coldplay

When you try your best, but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you’re too in love to let it go
But if you never try you’ll never know
Just what you’re worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down on your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down on your face
And on your face I…

Tears stream down on your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down on your face
And on your face I…

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

 

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You guys are my poster children for how Love is Patient and Conquers All.

I was so excited to be there at your elopement in Vegas (you made me all emotional and happy and cry)…and I am equally excited for the upcoming wedding. It’s awesome to know that you’ve been together for over a decade, and still look at each other with stars in your eyes.

Sigh.

You keep me believing in True Love and Soulmates.

Thank you.

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