My father passed away 21 years ago today. I still do not fathom why God took him so early. He was a loving, hardworking, humble, and pious person. My father had a goal of sending his 3 children to college. But the only way he could do it was to leave our home country the Philippines and look for greener pastures abroad. So when I was in my junior year in high school, he left for the United States to work. After 7 years of continuously working, without getting a chance to come home, one day at work he collapsed. He had a brain aneurysm. He died after a few days in coma. None of us were able to see him in person for the last 7 years. But finally we saw him when his body arrived home. Just before he died, the youngest child in the family just graduated from college. My father accomplished his goal sending all his children to college. During the wake, a mail arrived. It was a card my father sent to my mother for her birthday. Back then, it took 2 weeks for mail to arrive from overseas. Apparently he wrote the letter a few before he died. It was a long letter where my dad went over his reasons for going to the United States. He said that he is thankful to God that finally the kids are all done with school. He said that now it was time for him to reunite with his wife. The letter was about 7 pages long which ended with his birthday greetings on the card. It probably took him a awhile to write all these, and so he wrote at the end, "Sweetheart, I am tired now. But before I go, let me just say, I love you."
I ran for 8 miles, praying -- down memory lane -- in his memory. May my father rest in peace.