They say, a girl’s ideal man is modeled after her dad,
But my memories of you are fading
And I’m only left with faint imprints of moments
you arriving late in the night after being away for months, and surprising us in the morning with small gifts
me sweet talking to you to give me money to buy a toy Mama do not approve
the first and last time I felt the sting of the belt when you disciplined me and my brother after misbehaving
your strong and large build with your bulging stomach, dad bod they call it now
me waking to my mama panicking hearing you were rushed to the hospital
me and my brother sitting in front of you while talking seriously about Jesus, a story I have heard many times, but this time it was somehow different
you and mama taking me away before school year end to move to another city where your family is
me being left at my aunt’s house while you and mama stayed at the hospital
hospital visits that I never liked, and you knew that so you never let me stay for too long
sick days of vomiting, panic and needles
you slowly getting bed ridden, and your once strong, large build and your pot-belly, slowly turn into skin and bones
of me waking up one day, somehow melancholic, just staring at the window, a state auntie found me, she held my hands and slowly said that you have passed away.
I honestly do not remember what happened next, all I know was you were gone, you were put into a coffin, me going to school in the morning and staying at the funeral at night
My memories of you are few, you worked away sacrificing time for family so that you can provide, but I want to remember how you smell like, but all I can remember is the smell of hospital and medicine, I want to remember how you sound like, but all I can hear are your groans of pain and your faint voice asking for water, I want to remember your warmth, but on your last days, you could not even move.
The only image you have left in my mind is the picture they used in your funeral, faintly smiling, it’s a cropped picture of us when I was accepting my honors, so I will hold on to that.
If my ideal type is modeled after you Papa, then he must be the best thing a girl could ask for, though I will pray he will stay longer.
Nevertheless, I know you are in heaven, finally resting and happy, bringing our prayers closer to God, looking down, still with that faint proud smile.
Your Daughter (not named February)