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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Leader of the band!

Today is the 8th death anniversary of my father and our family had a small get together at home before going to the cemetery for some prayers for my father.

I was not really the favorite child but I got to spend more time with him than any of my siblings and many of our times together were actually story time. He was a storyteller and I loved listening to stories.

It started when I was young and would accompany him when he would fetch mama in the hospital after her night duties. He would talk to me about his childhood, his adventures in the foreign lands and stories of successful people he had read. When I was in college, I would also accompany him on his real estate trips on Saturdays to carry his bag and share stories along the way and when I was working and he worked in the Middle East our story telling were confined on our letters… this time our stories where no longer on other people or the books we had read but on what goes on with our lives.

I had to report to him everything that goes on with our life including the problems. He counted on me to tell him everything that happens and there would be times that I would re-write my letters so many times because I had to be truthful yet I would not want him to feel bad about certain events in our life for like most families we had our share of difficulties. There was no internet then and it takes time for the mail to reach the destination. Oftentimes there were other events after you have written your letter. Our telephone calls were limited to emergency calls and to really short calls to check if everything is alright… just an added assurance from the “voice” that everything is really alright as indicated in the letters… all the details have to be in the letter since it was cheaper to send a long letter than to make a short call!

Over the years, I have accumulated a neat pile of letters from papa which I still have to this date and from time to time I still look over these letters and listen to the voice tape he sent me.

If there is one thing I regret though, it is that most of papa’s best stories were not written. He was a wonderful storyteller and I could never match his “punch lines” nor am I good at recalling people and places. It would have been great if he was able to write his stories earlier on so that even the younger generation in our family would be able to learn these stories. I am sure they too would love them.

My father had more adventures than I could ever have but I have an advantage over him… I have access to a computer and to blogging and I get to write my stories and I get to share them with whoever cares to listen. But maybe someday, I get to get to print some of my stories and moments and get to share them with my younger nieces and nephews even my grandnieces and grandnephews...

Before i end this post i would like to print one of my favorite songs which I dedicate to papa.

Leader of the Band
An only child alone and wild
A cabinet maker's son
His hands were meant for different work
and his heart was known to none
He left his home and went his lone
and solitary way
But he gave to me a gift
I know I never can repay

A quiet man of music
Denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once
But his music wouldn't wait
He earned his love thru discipline
A thundering velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand

The leader of the band
Is tired and his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs thru my instrument
and his song is in my soul
My life has been a poor attempt
to imitate the man
I'm just a living legacy
To the leader of the band

My brothers' lives were different
For they heard another call
One went to Chicago and the other to St Paul
And I'm in ColoradoWhen I'm not in some hotel
Living out this life I've chose
and come to know so well

I thank you for the music
and your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom
When it came my time to go
I thank you for the kindness
and the times when you got tough
and papa I don't think I said
"I love you" near enough

I love you papa and I miss you! Happy anniversary in heaven!


Blogger Senor Enrique said...

What a wonderful tribute to your father.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous myepinoy said...

Happy Anniversary to ur dad. You really love ur father so much.

This song is also one of my favorites. Kahit mahirap kantahin yan, kinakanta ko rin.

6:47 PM  

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