There’s always something, someone lighting up our days when it seems bleak , the darkness surrounding you and all-consuming .when that something is gone, you find it hard to go on . My mom always uses the word ‘Cherish’, because I know at the very moment my father closed his eyes and fell into eternal slumber when I was 16 ,that magical light in her heart had just ... disappeared , hidden away in the deepest valleys of her heart .
My mother has her own way of conveying death in lighter, brighter tones .she never fails to make people realize death is something everybody has to face sooner or later. After my father’s unfortunate departure, I became the only guy in the family. Sometimes, she would sneak into my bedroom and sit beside me when I’m asleep. I never know why she had done that but my guess is, she misses father, more than she misses anyone else.
Although father left us at when we were still young, mother never fails to keep me healthy and safe. She keeps the house in pristine condition, everything spick-and-span in this small house we call home. She would never let me help her with the chores no matter how tedious and bothersome it was. My mother, she never liked people helping her with the chores because "help" usually meant more trouble for her. I remember that day when I graduated from high school, my eyes scanned the crowd when I was on stage, accepting the precious certificate that meant so much for my mother and I. I saw my mother, sobbing in elation into the small lace handkerchief that I was told, was my father's gift to her on their very first date. She approached me and hugged me as tight as she could, and whispered “Your father would be very proud of you honey.”
My father on the other hand was a handsome and generous man. He loves telling me stories about my grandfather and how he met my mother way back then. It was a stormy night when my dad had his dinner with his pals in an Italian restaurant. He said “I was having my pasta when I heard the most beautiful voice across the room. I couldn’t keep my eyes off her. She was like no girl I had ever met before. I didn’t believe in things like love-at-first-sight and Cupid's arrow and you know. But the moment I met your mother, I knew, I knew that she was the woman I am going to spend the rest of my life with. She was just so beautiful."
All these scenes keep flashing across my mind before I close my eyes and go to sleep at night. Not to mention, I’ve missed my dad’s style of walking, talking or even his musky aftershave, the gentle scent of a father. My mother never told me how my father died, nor would I dare to ask her. The only time I asked, she paled and she walked past me without seeing, walking to the window where she started sobbing gently. I remembered being shocked but awhile later my mother wiped away her tears and said sadly: "Oh, baby, I want to tell you so much, but you just aren't ready yet." Naturally I am curious but I have let it go as I do not wish to intrude on my mother's privacy.
It was 5 years after my mother lay dying on the hospital bed. It was 3 in the morning when I received a call from the hospital saying she doesn’t have much time left. I went to the hospital as fast as I could, made a wild turn to my mother’s ward. Her eyes were so tired, as she hadn’t slept in weeks. She lifted her head and pushed forward to meet mine. She gasped, hence parted her lips and said “Son, remember what I told you after your father died?” As she slowly lifted her arms to my cheek, wipes away my tears gently with her old, yet firm hands of hers. “Don’t cry, baby. I am going to meet your father at last. You should be happy for me. Don’t worry, I'm not afraid of death. God has blessed me with a loving husband and a wonderful son. You have grown up to be such a fine young man. Remember all those games we played when you were young, the riddle box, the House Of puzzles, the great times we had when you were young? Cherish those memories . . . these happy memories will give you hope you when you feel all hope is lost . . . Oh , baby I love you so much . . ." She drew a long rasping breath . I knew then she couldn’t last much longer.
I closed my eyes, trying so hard to hold back my tears. I can hear sobs from the nurses standing at the back of the ward, I can hear the clock ticking on the wall. I grabbed her arms tightly, I smiled to her and said “I love you, mom. I promise you, I’ll be a great dad and a loving husband.” She nodded a little and smiled. “That’s my baby.” The moment she closed her eyes, I felt the pain flooding through me, the darkness suffocating me. The pain was like nothing I had ever felt before, it felt as though someone had just drew a blade and slashed my soul in two.
That morning, rain fell in a misty haze. I wondered if the rain were my father’s tears from the afterlife. "I miss her already, dad." I said to no one in particular .I lay down on my bed, as I slowly recall what we’ve gone through, as a family. Tears flooded my eyes once again, as it slowly leaves a glistening trail on my face, glowing incandescently as a ray of sun traced itself upon my face.