Tuesday, June 18, 2013

pinas trip: visiting papa

After a week of homesickness and missing my family, the day of my flight back to Dubai finally arrived. There was still one important thing that I hadn’t done, and I knew that if I boarded the plane without doing it, I’d be disappointed with myself.   

So Friday morning, I settled myself behind my cousin on his motorcycle, wore the helmet, and we headed off to Papa’s grave at Manila Memorial Park. He had been using the bike for several years so he easily weaved in and out of the morning traffic. The last time I had ridden a motorbike was back when we were still in Papua New Guinea, so the experience was familiar and thrilling at the same time. I wish I had my picture taken; it would have been really cool.

After he stopped the bike on the road at the cemetary, my cousin headed to the restrooms. Maybe he needed to go, or maybe he knew that I needed time alone, but whatever the reason, I was glad he did...because as soon as I arrived in front of Papa’s tombstone, and after I said “Hi Pa! I’m here!” I felt a lump in my throat and tears began falling from my eyes. I guess it was a mixture of emotions from missing him, loneliness, wishing he could meet his grandchildren, and to see the person I had become...plus Father’s Day, his and Mama’s Wedding Anniversary, and his 10th Death Anniversary were approaching in June. Taking advantage of the time alone, I talked to him about anything I could think of, and sometimes just stayed quiet; occasionally crying again when I would remember the day he passed away.

taken back in 2011
A few minutes later, my cousin returned, and, after I said a short prayer and bid goodbye to Papa, we rode out of the cemetery so that I could go back to the house to fix my things and pack my stuff.

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