Melancholy Birthday Dinners

I ate dinner at this new Italian restaurant with my family last night. I think this was my Dad's first time to celebrate his birthday here in Manila with us again after quite a while. Since he works in Cebu and his birth date often falls on a weekday he has spent it over there. Since Mom's cancer diagnosis he has been coming home almost weekly instead of the usual twice a month rhythm.

My Dad just turned 63 and there is so much about him that I would have wanted to write in this post but all I can muster is what he told me in a toothy grin when I greeted him at breakfast yesterday, "Matanda na si Tarzan!" (Tarzan is now old). I often wondered why he refers to him as Tarzan. I'm trying to recall a childhood memory that faintly glimmers in my mind this morning about the time we watched Tarzan together. It register vaguely so I'm dropping that thought. Musing some more about, I suppose it's because he always says he grew up in the Island of Cebu and is the Son of Lapu-lapu.

My Dad is an islander in every sense of the word. He used to be able to swim pretty great lengths when we'd go to the beach. He also likes eating with his hands better than with a spoon or a fork. To him, it's the most pleasurable way to eat.

At 6:18am this morning I am trying to muster some words to write about my father and find that I am not able to do so quite well. The flow staggers and comes out in spurts. Again I wonder why this is so. Perhaps it was all the work I did yesterday. Was barely able to pay attention to my writing and grasp the fullness of the words I wanted to articulate. A lot of censoring is going on in my head and the breathing becomes slow and raspy.

I'd like to observe myself midway the writing process from now on because I'm thinking that this is the only way I'll be able to write my way into a liberation of some sort.

I wish I can muster something a little bit more interesting. A little bit more colorful. A little bit more full of life. But I can't because last night didn't feel like such a birthday dinner and it saddened me to realize that there is so much about my family that needs healing instead of just my Mom's cancer.

Maybe one day I'll write about it. Maybe I haven't fully come to terms with it because I've never really written about it and put it out there. Maybe I'll write about it later. Maybe I'll forget.

But this morning, let it be known that I tried to write about a melancholy dinner with my Dad.


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