Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Simple Story of Love This Valentine's Day

Today is Valentine's Day. It's a day that love is celebrated. Some people celebrate it with their boyfriends, girlfriends, crushes, families, friends, or even pets. I am blessed that I already have my own family; a loving husband with two beautiful children whom I express my love each and every day. When I look my children, sometimes I would think how lucky to be a kid again because they don't worry about anything because it's the love of their parents that nourish them with happiness.  

When I was a kid, I, too, was loved by my parents together with my brothers and sisters. They took us to places we wanted to go, took us to restaurants we wanted to eat, even gave us the things we wanted. But despite all the luxury I experienced as a child, there was one simple memory that lingers whenever I remember my dad. It's funny because when my dad went away, it's the time I started appreciating the moments we had together. There was that one unique and memorable experience that I have with my dad that was special to me.

I was around 10 years old. No one was home but me and him. He was trying to fix his car for hours in the garage, but seemed unsuccessful. I approached him and asked him, "Dad, I think you're tired. Can someone else fix it for you?" Dad took a deep breath and looked at me saying, "Pagod na nga siguro ako. Meryenda muna tayo (Yes, I think I am tired. Let's have some snacks)." We both walked towards a nearby sari-sari store wearing only simple t-shirts and shorts and flipflops, bought some sodas (I remember it was Mirinda) and chips (mine was Pompoms while he got Chippy). We chatted about my schooling and how are things with me at home and at school. I can barely remember what we talked about, but I do remember one thing that blurted out of me while we were chatting. I said, "May crush na nga ako, dad, eh. (I already have a crush, dad)." 

That's when I remember my dad choked and almost drowned with the Mirinda soda that he was drinking with a straw. I was also shocked why I suddenly shared it with him. But it was true, I already had a crush at school at age 10. My dad said, "Sigurado ka crush na 'yan? (Are you sure it's a crush?)" I stayed silent because I was already embarrassed. I think my dad also noticed so he stopped asking questions. He hugged me and comforted me saying, "Okay lang yan, anak. Pero kung nagmamahal ka na, dapat ready ka na din masaktan. Kung hindi ka handang masaktan para sa kanya, hindi mo siya mahal. (It's okay, my child. But if you love someone, you should be ready to get hurt. If you're not ready to get hurt for him, then you don't love him.)" Of course, I had a different understanding of it since I was only 10, but I don't want to elaborate more on how I understood it. 

When we're both finished with our snacks, we started walking back home. He placed his arm on my shoulders and said, "Hay, naku. Buti nalang nasira yung kotse kung hindi di ko pa malalaman na dalaga ka na. (It's a good thing my car broke down because if it didn't, then I wouldn't know that you've already grown up to be a lady)." I was glad he saw it as a bonding moment for us and an opportunity for him to see me as I was back then. I simply smiled and hugged him. It was one of the most embarrassing, but also one of the happiest moments of my life with my dad. It's one of those moments that I felt truly loved by my dad because he cared enough to listen and understand. 

This Valentine's Day, to honor the day of hearts, let us also be reminded of the love that was given to us by our parents or relatives that served as our foundation to be a strong individual as we are today.  Let's give love to those who loved us unconditionally before we even knew what love was. 

My love story began when I felt loved. 
 My first love, 
my first hero, 
always my dad

#OPPOF5  #CaptureTheRealYou

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