Tuesday, November 9, 2010


(As written by me in October of 2008)

For those non-readers of Harry Potter, this is one of the first spells in the first book (Wingardium Leviosa being the other). It was a spell to open locked up things such as doors. It seemed like a weak spell when you think about it. Pure brute force can destroy a closed door, persistence can jimmy a well-locked door and well sheer geniuses will always think of a better way. But that all changed when life threw me an Alohomora more powerful than Avada Kedavra...

As most of you know, my father died at 11:22 PM three weeks ago by tomorrow. It was something that was not unexpected but surprising at the same time. We knew it was coming for several years already, and by several I meant over a decade! I truly believed that I had it in my heart to be ready for this...or so I thought.

I went home at exactly 11:20 that night after hearing a frantic call from my hysterical mother whose anguish is palpable even across the phone. I never heard words and sobs blended so intimately as though a sound, only a wife in fear of loneliness can produce.   The sight that revealed itself to me when I came to my father's bedside, was one I can never forget. My mom was holding tight my father's hands as if holding on to dear life...the same life my father was about to let go. In true doctor fashion, I felt my father's pulse, I listened for a breath, I took out my stethoscope. 

Then it was suddenly 22 minutes past 11 already. 

A scene was playing in my mind, one I commonly control in the hospital, with me shouting - Time of Death 11:22 PM. Only this time, in the numbing coldness of my father's room, all was silent. I merely gave my mother a look and pried her hand away from my father's into mine. A small reminder that things will inevitably change for us.

Then the 'Alohomora' came. Suddenly my sheltered world was opened to the reality of things to come. It all came as though a torrent of insatiable waves, of wrath, frustration, uncertainty, sadness, loneliness, gratitude,  rolling forth an unstoppable train and I was just powerless to stop it.

In pure confusion, I leaned forward to ask my father what to do. Only to realize, a response was never to be heard of again from that brilliant mind that seemed to be churning out wisdom and reprimand all the time. I merely knelt by the bed and whispered to my father's ears, "Tatay, I know I promised, pero di ko pala kaya (but I can't do it)". This pertained to my pact with my father regarding me not crying when he passes away.

Then as if an answer from Tatay, I cried ceaselessly as if the tears which I have never shed for a very long time, overflowed the dam of my pretenses and uncorked the confusion in my heart.

Then serenity followed. Even in death, Tatay has a way of still ministering to my needs. The 'Alohomora' has finished its hold. I was once again closed but no longer locked. In the end, it was the 'Avada Kedavra' that gave the 'Alohomora' its ultimate power in me.

Life goes on as I step forward from the door that I just closed only to find more doors in front of me. But those are still stories in the writing....

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