getting to bacolod was easy, having lunch with inday, lito and ron made me smile. but deep inside i dreaded getting on that bus heading to kabankalan.
you see, this is the first time papang specifically asked for me to come home. the last time i came home he was in the hospital and i knew that it has something to do with cancer.
he had prostate cancer around fourteen years ago and it was successfully removed. but as cancer goes, it's a very treacherous ailment. after fourteen years it has come back to finish the job. this time around, it has gone through full skeletal metastasis and the reality is that there is no turning back time.
obviously my siblings had other ulterior motives why they want me to come home, it could rival a telenovela with all the plots and sub plots involved. i simply am not interested as long as no one is placed in a bad position.
my dad looked fine, outside. inside, i don't know what he's going through with the pain medication and being confined in bed 24 hours a day. i spent time talking to my dad and as always, he wanted a massage, particularly his hands and feet. his own way of making "angga", or what you'd call his way of "showing affection".
looking at me he said that if ever i find myself in a bad situation, i could always come back home. my brother apparently made that offer. i'll keep that as an option. the last option.
three days wasn't enough AND it is more than enough. mixed feelings of sadness, relief, frustration, guilt, helplessness, hope and resignation. if you ever find yourself going through that in a matter of days then you'd know what i mean.
i'm back in the city, far away, but not far from papang's side.