This playlist is dedicated to my father, Mark. He died around 6:30 am in 2012. But I wasn’t there. I was in my bed, sleeping when my older sister Jennifer called me. She called me, and then my mom. But I didn’t know that.
All I remember is holding everything in until I hung up the phone, then I just sobbed uncontrollably for about half an hour. I knew when my mom called us downstairs that morning, what she was going to say.
Back in 2011 my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic lung cancer. He wanted me to move down to Kansas with him. But I was reluctant to leave. I had just started college and I didn’t want to leave my family and friends. So I didn’t go. Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I had. But I’m here, and there’s no use dwelling on the past.
We went down to Kansas in April of 2012. I was reluctant at first because it was time for finals, but mostly because I didn’t think I could keep it together if I saw him.
We went down for about two weeks. We spent our time there in his friends’ cabin. I spent a lot of time in my room when we weren’t going out. I’m terrible at expressing my feelings, and I didn’t want my little sisters to see me break down.
We went to the hospital with him for an appointment. At this time, I took out my iPod, and realized that BIGBANG had released their music video for “Blue.” So that song has a sad meaning for me, outside its original meaning.
Me and my dad at the cabin. It was hard to smile, but I did it for him. Even if I half-assed it.
After I came back home, during finals, my friend Marrietta died. I had just entered history class, and my mom called to tell me. Marrietta was like a second mom to me. We worked together at the factory. She was one of the Filipino women I worked with. I can’t listen to Namie Amuro‘s”Wishing On the Same Star,” because that was the song playing on my iPod before I entered the classroom.
Some time later, one of his friends called while I was inbetween classes. He couldn’t talk anymore, but she asked me to say my last goodbyes while I had the chance.
A few weeks later, two weeks before my birthday, I woke up to a phone call that let me know he was gone. We didn’t go to the funeral, going to Kansas has been really expensive, and we couldn’t afford it again.
His friends did send us lockets with a picture of him, and necklaces with his ashes in them. I found the latter to be a bit creepy, so I put it away and haven’t looked at it since.
I sometimes think about him, but I don’t want my sadness to swallow me. But every once in awhile I have a flashback. Sitting on the floor between his feet while he used my pigtails as motorcycle bars. Sitting there as we watched “Star Trek,” “Stargate,” “Spawn” and “Hellboy.”
He gave us “Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door” because he said there was too much reading involved.
We listened to rock together sometimes. We both liked Ozzy Osbourne. Him more than me, but still.
This playlist is filled with songs that remind me of him. “Clock Strikes” and “Forever Love” make me break down every time. I actually had my breakdown last week while washing the dishes. Weird timing I know. But it happens every now and again.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from losing my dad is that you shouldn’t take people you love for granted. You think you’ll have them all your life and then one day, they’re gone.
Cherish every moment you have with the people you love. You’ll never know how long you’ll have with them.