I was going to write this birthday post on the things Dad taught me, but then I figured all dads are different so I changed it to a story about my father instead.
Dad was working on a case in Region 2 when someone
ambushed one of his meetings and fired at the venue. His body took thirteen
bullets: his shoulder was severely damaged, his thigh was tortured and his body
was left to die. One of the bullets slipped off his shoulder and went right
around his eye, missing his brain by a hair or two.
I remember vivid fragments from that night. Mom frantically telling our driver that Dad’s body was being airlifted to Manila so they needed to rush to the hospital. My yaya telling me this was all a dream, I must go back to sleep so I can grow taller. Mom crying as she called my grandma in England. Our helpers praying by the altar. Thoughts of growing up in a single-parent household. My young fragile self thinking I will never see Dad again.
I did see him, a few weeks later, at the hospital wrapped in all sorts of casts and bandages. He smiled when he saw me and said, “Hi baby! Do you like my costume? Your daddy is a mummy now!” Yeeeeeesh. They may have gone through his body, but man those bullets clearly could not get through to Dad’s humour and spirit.
It’s been over two decades since the shooting and Dad’s in his fittest and funniest state. I’m so grateful for his second chance on life. My sibs and I are extremely blessed because I was able to grow up with a super awesome, super cool, super inspirational father.
Happy birthday Daddy! Thank you for giving me and the sibs everything we wanted and more – most especially our normal noses and corny genes (we are able to amuse ourselves and never get bored because of this). Thank you for teaching us a lot about strength and resilience and for making us realise the true meaning courage, loyalty and integrity. For making us showing us the importance of hard work, humility and compassion. For making sure we know how charm/respect/deal with people (he’s such a well-loved man). Most of all, thank you for always reminding us to CAPITALISE (on the things that matter in life).
You are brighter than the stars on your badge and I will always, always, always look up to you. I super love you. You inspire me every day.