In life we will meet ordinary people that can touch our lives in extraordinary ways. One of these is my father and please let me share introduce him to you.
His name is Clodualdo, but my mother calls him Lody – which was also the root word for my name Louderick. According to him, his parents got his name from a lunar calendar used by farmers in Pampanga before (Kalendariong Tagalog). After graduating from high school, he decided to leave his hometown to work here in Manila. This is where he met my mother and begun starting building their family. Almost half a century had passed; my young father is now old. In fact, anyone could notice that he is in his senior years just by staring at him. His short wavy hair is inevitably going grayer every day. His well built body was gone. He is more slender now, near to being skinny. His chocolate colored skin is not different from a wrinkled skin of an old acacia tree. He, always looking snappy was already part of history . He looks scruffy now because he doesn’t care what his appearance that much. Indeed, my father’s sunset is really fast approaching and even our love for him cannot stop this from happening. All we can do is to make the most out of his remaining years here on earth.
I visited my parents last weekends. As I saw him, I can’t help myself to utter a small prayer of thank for allowing me to have such a wonderful father like him. There is no doubt that his character is worthy of emulation. He is good-natured and he always sees an opportunity to help others. He even adopted two children (Jerry and Nids) that he considers his own. One of my aunts even told me that my father was the reason why electricity reached our barrio (amazing isn’t it?). According to her, my father shouldered all the expenses for this when he was still single and has a lucrative job (Too bad he lost his job too soon because he was a union leader!). Aside from being generous, my father is a man of wisdom as well. He simply dazzles me every time I speak to him. He’s not a graduate of any university but the ‘University of Life’ has thought him a lot. One of the unforgettable words that I treasure the most from him is this — “Son, it’s not important where you started; what important is where and how you will finish it.”
My father has three favorite hobbies. The first one is farming. I can’t stop myself from laughing every time I remember his funny farming experiences. Until now, I really can’t understand why he only harvested half sack of rice over a hectares of land before. Well, my father’s parents were farmers and his siblings are farmers too. This is probably the reason he became a ‘frustrated farmer’ as my mother teased him. Nowadays, since he is old, he is already contented in farming over our backyard; he finally realized that large scale farming is not for him (Good for him and good for us too!). Then his second favorite hobby is playing billiards. He started loving it since he was in high school. He admitted to us that he was a ‘bulakbol’ student before but he never failed any of his subjects. And lastly, he love talking — as in talking and talking all over again. He always entertains us with his stories. I guess this is common among the elderly. They really love sharing their experiences to young people like me (yes, I’m still young..lol) for us to learn from their past mistakes. By the way, my favorite story from him was the story on how he courted my mother.
I can remember all the happy memories with my father, but my most favorite one was when he thought me how to ride a bicycle. It was a windy afternoon back then when my father saw me having a hard time learning how to ride my new bicycle — a birthday present from one of my auntie. I even got bruised on the first time I attempted riding it. I was almost giving up when my father approached me and started teaching me how to drive it. I hold his hand tightly that he could not let go. I still remember his initial reaction when I finally let go of his hand and finally set off successfully. I saw in his eyes that he was so proud of me. I will always be thankful that he devoted his time on teaching me how to ride a bike. It’s like indirectly saying to me that nothing is impossible to a person with perseverance.
There is nothing special about my father. He is not rich nor highly-educated. He is just an ordinary person who touched my life in extraordinary ways. He inspired me to live my life to the fullest. His life is a true symbol of unconditional love. I will always be grateful that he is my father and I will make sure, together with my siblings, that the remaining years of his life will be a meaningful and memorable one.