“ANIÑGAT, MARIANITO, Sir.” These were the last words my Dad kept repeating while at his deathbed. As if he was reporting for duty. My sister Ma. Shura Wickens and I were wondering whether he was talking to St. Peter at the Pearly Gates or just reminiscing his green beret days.
Here is to the man who gave me life, a good provider, a shouter, a soldier and best of all, a father. My dad was the Corps Commander at the University of the Philippines, Class 56. He was an officer at the UP Vanguard and Head of the Upsilon Sigma Phi. Words are not enough to describe the kind of man and the influence he continues to have on me. He sent me to law school and gave me the best toys; a daughter could never ask for more.
No regrets Dad.
My advice to children with a dying parent: have a checklist of what you want to do for your parent before your checklist becomes a checklist of regrets. I will share with you my checklist:
- Give him sweet cherries.
- If he wants to visit his favorite barbershop, bring him.
- If he wants to hear you sing, by all means, give him a concert.
- Even if he does not wish to see a priest, bring a priest.
- If he wants a picture framed, frame it.
The checklist varies from one family to another. It could go on and on and in all probability, different from mine. To be honest, I was able to comply with all four. However, I failed to frame a picture, this picture:
Death is inevitable but as children, we should make a lot of good memories to make our parents’ death, peaceful and regret free. Good bye for now, Daddy.