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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Big Fish

“You have to understand… that while I was growing up, my father was away more than he was there…” - Will 

Big_fish If there was one line that really stuck with me in the film, it was this line by Will when he was asked by his wife Josephine if he loves his Father. In my context, this is true because I’ve had a long-distance father since I was nine years old. I actually could still count myself lucky because being the second in a brood of eight, I had more time spent with my father; I have more memories of him. The rest of my siblings literally grew up with a single parent, what with my father working abroad ever since they could remember. Thinking on that, I can’t help but feel sad about our situation that forces us to be apart. I could not help but think on the many memories that we could have made together if only our situation had been different. The only thing that I am very much thankful however is that notwithstanding our separation, my father is no stranger to us. Somehow, even through the distance, my father still manages to be an integral part of our lives beyond being just the provider. He not only constantly calls us individually and collectively and sends birthday cards but, more importantly, he sends us voice tapes which are usually two-hour lectures on life and everyday conduct. Like Edward Bloom, he has lines that we could routinely recite from memory having heard them countless of times for most of our growing up years. Young adulthood has however given us the maturity to realize that such “preaching” were not mere lines but bits of wisdom which my father as an individual had learned for himself and hopes to impart to us so that we hopefully will grow up properly guided.

Will’s father was known for his amusing and always fantastical stories of how events in his life happened. In our family, being one of the eldest who have spent most time with our father, I have found myself to be the narrator of stories about him and passing on stories that he has told me about his own adventures when he was still young. At times when I contemplate about it, I can't help but feel the great importance of such task. It is very important to me that my younger siblings get to know my father as much as I do even if they had not spent as much time with him as I did. I do not want him to be a stranger to them like what a lot of OFW parents are to their children.

I have to share this. While reviewing the first parts of the film during the break, my father called me up. He said that he just came from the doctor and was told that the repeated asthma attacks that he had been suffering for the last few years had somehow created a hole in his lungs. He told me that he already wants to come home but since we still have to graduate (at least 3 of the eldest which includes me) he still wants to stay. He particularly wants to stay until he officially has spent 10 years in his job so he could take home enough money to use as starting capital for a small business. During the course of our conversation, I could not help but cry. It had been for quite some time that I’ve been trying to persuade him to come home. I have been telling him agian and again that we can manage to graduate even if he no longer works abroad; that what is important is that we have a father who is home again and who could spend time with us and create new memories with us. I particularly wanted him to come home because I’ve been thinking that with us elder siblings being busy with work and school and our mom with her small kakanin business which is actually more of a sideline, our younger siblings needs a father figure more than ever. It had also come to my realization that it will not be long before one of us starts a family of his/ her own and would have to live apart from the rest of us. Before any of that happens, I just want us to be complete again and create as many memories as we could, together.

Like Will’s dad, Edward Bloom, my father may have been away most of the time than he was with us. Unlike Will’s relationship with his father however, I am very grateful and feel very blessed in knowing that I have a father to whom I could open my heart, speak my mind, and trade stories with, no matter how fantastic or plain they may be. And yes, I love my father very much and I am secure in his love for me. I miss him very much too.

** from Psych 101


kaigachi is a conjugation of the Japanese term "kigaicha" or crazy. It roughly translates as "crazy about something."

"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious." - C.Jung

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