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  • Writer's pictureThe Useless Runner

The last goodbye. An elegy.

Orphan [noun] ~ /ˈɔːf(ə)n/

"A child whose parents are dead."

The last time the five of us were all together was on April 4 2009. My wedding day.

Mom had been battling cancer for 3 years, but she was there, always strong and proud of her family. The family she built with blood, sweat and tears alongside my dad. This was the last photo of all of us, I was 29 years old, living abroad for already five years.

These adult years had passed real fast. Mom was with us for 3 more years until she lost her battle with cancer on May 17 2012.

I always felt cheated, I was angry. I have never been devoted to the higher powers, nor believe in a god who allows someone die a miserable death like mom had. It never made sense to me, and it never will.

We had a rough year, my dad was alone. For the first time in 40 years he did not have his wife with him, and we were left without a mom. It was, and still is, unfair.

After mom died, I had 2 beautiful daughters, I re-connected more with my brother and sister, and developed an amazing relationship with my dad. He became the centre of our world, our rock, the one who was always there no matter what.

When I was a little boy, my dad always woke me up at 6 AM on Sundays, without fail. He would take me to the market to do the weekly shopping, and we would have breakfast in a small joint inside. These are now the memories I treasure, of a time where I was too little to understand the simple lesson of discipline and good habits. He wasn't perfect, and had his flaws like everybody else. But he was my father, the one I looked up to, the one who became my best friend and my confidant. I could talk to my dad about anything and everything.

The years that came were the best years of my relationship with my dad. We traveled the world together, we went to remote places, we walked the streets of many cities. We packed a lifetime of memories in an amazing trip. He was always curious, always learning, and he was amazed by all the new things we saw and lived together.

We went to high peaks packed with snow, to beaches and historic cities. For the first time in his life he was seeing the world without having to read about it in a book or a magazine. It filled my heart with joy to see him so happy, and to experience this with him is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

The last time I saw my dad was in 2018. I took my eldest daughter back home and we had a great time. I remember taking an old film camera, and it was there where I snapped the last photo I ever took of my dad, not knowing that I would never see him again in my life.

To this day, this is the photo I treasure the most. He was happy.

When dad got sick back in June, we had high hopes for him to make a full recovery. We never considered even the possibility of him having to go through the horrible things he had to endure.

We spoke regularly, and in all his stubbornness he always remained strong, trying to never show a sign of weakness. But we knew, we knew he was not doing well. We worked tirelessly to make him feel comfortable, to do everything in our power to help him through this horrible disease. My sister, my brother and his wife were there with him, caring for him and making sure he was ok.

When he had to get admitted to hospital and put on a ventilator, I spent endless nights waiting by the phone, for a phone call that only came once a day around midnight, to hear how he was doing, to keep the hope that he would recover. I cannot even imagine the ordeal my family had to go through back home. It was unbearable to think that he could lose this battle.

But on July 9th 2021 at 01:30 AM Local Time, his heart stopped. He lost the battle. He paid the ultimate price. He was gone.

The last time I saw my dad before being sedated I told him how much I loved him, and that we will be waiting for him. My last words to him I simply asked for his blessing, as I always did before saying goodbye every time we spoke on the phone.

I have no regrets about anything. I always said everything I had to say, and expressed my love to him in every possible way. We had secrets only he and I knew, and I will never share with anyone else.

I miss my dad, more than anything.

I gave up on myself, and in a way I feel I still am. I am 41 years old and I will never see my parents grow old, see their grand children grow and get married, attend birthdays and weddings or celebrate anniversaries. They never got to travel the world together.

I lost all my motivation. I am angry. Angry at life for throwing my parents a bad hand. I am not angry at god. You can't be angry at something you don't believe in, and I will not get into that debate because is a worthless cause in my eyes.

My parents deserved better, they deserved to enjoy their retirement years together, they deserved to live a good life.

Am I broken?. Of course I am. But I do not want to live my life in self pettiness. This is a hole I have to dig myself out of with the support of my wife, my kids and my family. I don't want people to feel sorry for me. I don't want to loathe myself or feel like I do not deserve to be happy. I just need time, and by the looks of how things are, a lot of it.

I want to smile again.

To mom and dad:

You raised me to be good, to be kind and to have compassion for others. You also raised me to be strong, and to deal with life in the best possible way. You never put me on a pedestal, and never taught me that I deserved everything I wanted just because I wanted it. You taught me that hard work pays off in every aspect of life.

I am the person I am today because of you, and I will forever thank you for that.

I am sad, I am broken, and I miss you more than anything. I cry for you, and these are still sad tears, because I am too young to not have you in my life. I still have things to learn, and stories to tell. I needed those years with you, so you could see my kids grow up, come to their birthdays and see them become adults and have a family.

You should have died of old age.

The cruelty of the way you left our lives is beyond anything I could imagine. Is sad, is unfair.

This is my last goodbye, in hope that the road ahead is kinder to us all. It will never be the same without you.

The family you leave behind will treasure every single moment we spent together, because tomorrow is not guaranteed. We love you, and you will forever be in our hearts. Rest in peace, you beautiful souls.

Thank you mom, Thank you dad. For everything.

I love you.

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2 comentários

17 de set. de 2021

Hola Andresito buen dia

Muy conmovedoras tus palabras, lamento mucho la sitacion, yo te entiendo y te acompaño con todo mi corazon, me hiciste lloras leyendo lo que tu corazon esta hablando, al compartir esa maravillosa historia de vida de relacion con tu papa, mi hermano, quisiera yo poderte resolver esa situacion que estas viviendo y volver a llenarte ese vacio enorme, que manifiesta que tienes en tu corzon, quisiera ser capaz de sustentarlo, pero el amor de papa es insustituible, irremplazable, pero mi fe en Dios, me permite aconsejarte, con toda la seguridad que tengo en mi corazon, que solo Dios suple y garantiza todos nuestros faltantes, yo soy un testimonio de que Dios existe, que es bueno, y…

17 de set. de 2021
Respondendo a

Gracias Tio, usted siempre va a estar presente y sabe que para mi es una persona muy especial y siempre tendra todo mi amor.

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