Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Dearest Apa,

Its hard for me to accept that youve gone far away, never to return. I feel youre still somewhere here among us like you've always been.


There's a familiar face in my memories that I long to see but I cant. That face only becomes more distinct each passing day, making it harder for me to believe I can never see it anymore. 


There’s a familiar voice in my memories that I yearn to hear but I can’t. That voice only becomes clearer each passing day, making it harder for me to believe I can never hear it anymore.


There’s a familiar hand firmly resting on my shoulders that I want to turn around and see the smile on the face, but I can’t. The hand only becomes firmer every passing day, making it harder for me to believe I can never feel its loving touch anymore.


I look for you in every passerby, thinking you’d show up anytime. I look for you in every single head in the crowd, thinking you’d pop up anytime. I look for you in every song of birds, thinking I’d hear you call my name anytime. I look for you in every morning prayer, hoping to find a way to bring you back home. And I look for you everywhere, but you must hate me that I can’t find you anywhere despite my best efforts. I know I will find you someday, however.


When I look in the mirror every morning, I see some traces of you in my reflection. Perhaps, this is the closest I can get to you. I look closer and realize you’ve always lived there in me and never left my side all this long. It’s quite funny how I desperately keep looking for you everywhere soon after.


I look for you in the dawn and in the dusk, in the waxing moon and in the waning moon, in the spring’s coy whispers, in the summer’s thunderous storms, in the fall’s harvest, and in the winter’s biting cold; in the sloppy hills and plains, in the birds and butterflies, in the promises you made, in the joys and sorrows we shared, and in the memories you left me behind; in the first alphabets you taught me, in the jokes we laughed together, in the meadows you trod upon, in the fruit trees you planted, in the prayer flags you erected, in the home you built, in the sweat, in the tears and blood you shed to raise me into who I am today, in the last words you uttered in pain, and in the lungfuls you breathed your last… No, I can’t find you there, in any of this. I muster my strength and audacity and ask: “Where are you?”


You must be somewhere near although I’m told you’re gone afar. Are you not the one that peeks through the patches of clouds on an overcast day? Are you not the one that whispers along with the mountain echoes? The one that mutters along the rustling boughs and swift-flowing streams? Or the one that rides on the gush of the evening breeze, leaving a quick dewy peck on my forehead?


And each night, as I rest my head between the pillows, I can hear your footsteps grow louder as you come closer. But I must be a bad son that my weakened eyes can no longer hold those scalding tears. And all I can see is but darkness through my eyes awash in tears. I cry through the night cursing myself, but I always find a glimmer of hope knowing that you’d come back again tomorrow—you’ve always been that HOPE that I’ve always clung on, unafraid.




A Slice of Goulburn