Day 25 – My Biggest Regret

The biggest regret in my life is the way I treated my father when he was alive. I grew up with so much hate for him. Remembering this makes me so sad right now. When he went to Saudi Arabia to work I was 9 years old. He seldom send us money and there were rumors that he has other woman there. When he came back I was already 19 and he was different. He was always angry and causing trouble wherever we go. He always shout at my mom and our home was like a living hell, there was no peace. I was so angry with him that there was one time I was so furious I cursed at him.

My brother and my sister remained respectful to him, but not me. I rebelled. I hated him to my bones that I prayed that he would die. We had no face to show to our neighbors and relatives because he would always bring them trouble.

My brother and my sister told me that he might be suffering from some mental illness. But in my mind I thought he was just really a terrible, selfish father who doesn’t care if his family is embarrassed because of how he behaves. When we brought him to a psychiatrist, he was diagnosed with Bipolar. He was given some meds and for the first time, he was calm and quiet in his room. And it remained like that for some years. When he show signs of hyperactivity again we would bring him to the doctor to check on him. It was the time I started caring for my father.

My father was already calm and quiet but he would always seek attention from us. There was one time, he would complain his knees because they hurt and that he couldn’t walk. So I would always assist him in going to the bathroom. But there was one time I found out he was faking it. When he knew I was not looking, he would walk normally. This became so annoying for me and when he complains that something hurts, I don’t pay attention anymore. I thought he was a burden to us.

But I know my father loves me, there were times he would try to make a conversation with me, but I would ignore him and go to my room. Sometimes, he would knock on my door with food that he bought but I won’t accept it and I would say I’m full.

2 years ago, he was hospitalized for a month, when he came back from the hospital, I suddenly changed. This time my heart became soft for him. Maybe God had touched my heart because he was going to take my father already. One night, I checked on him and see if he was able to sleep with stomach ache. I went to his room and got some oil to rub on his stomach. He was so happy when I did it. I couldn’t forget his face. He said “God, thank you for my daughter.” That night I prayed that God would heal my father.

We thought he already recovered but after a month he complained that his scrotum was painful. We brought him to the hospital. The doctor said he needs operation. The day he was about to be operated, he was so strong. He asked my mom to accompany him and walk by the corridor while waiting for his operation. He went back to his bed and asked my mom and my brother to pray for him. When my mom finished praying, she noticed that my dad’s face changed. There were tears in his eyes and there was water that came out from his ears. He was not breathing. The doctor and the nurses tried to revive him, but he was not revived.

My brother called me on the phone crying and said that dad had already died. I didn’t know what to feel. I went immediately to the hospital. And there I saw him, on the bed lifeless.

I hugged my father and placed my head on his chest, and I cried. I said “Father, forgive me.”

I remembered those times that I treated him with coldness, disrespect, and rebellion. I never understood that he was emotionally and mentally ill. I could’ve been more patient with him. My heart was full of hatred for my father that it blinded me of my love for him. How I wish I could turn back time and change how I treated my father. I didn’t know how much I love him. When I did, he was gone.

Tay, tomorrow is your birthday. How I wish I could walk you in the park and listen to what you have to say. They say I look like you and I got most of your attitude. I’m hot-tempered like you and I’m easily overwhelmed with problems like you. And I remembered what you said before that you loved me the most because we are the same. I’m sorry Tay for all the things that I’ve done. I remember you now and though I didn’t have enough time to express my love for you, I will always treasure those moments that you felt my love. I want to see and hug you in my dreams. I love you Tay…

What I’ve learned after my miscarriage

Before my husband went back to Canada, we found out that I was pregnant. Everyone was happy and excited but at week eight, I lost the baby. I bled and had a severe cramp. When I was in the car to the hospital I told God, “please don’t let me have a miscarriage, don’t allow it to happen. I have prayed to you and for my baby a thousand times, you can’t allow this God.”

I was in the ultrasound room, still hoping that the baby was still there but the doctor showed me the image on the monitor, the baby was not there anymore. I held back my tears until I got out of the room, I was brokenhearted. I blamed myself, that maybe I was not careful enough.

I believe in God and I believe everything happens for a reason, but in my heart, I still ask, “why did it happen? What’s in it for me in the future?” I prayed more and allowed myself to grieve and be sad. I decided to read the Bible again from Genesis, but something happened when I reached the story of Saul and David.

It is said that David is a man after God’s own heart and I thought it was only because he was a worshiper. But I realized that he is a man with a humble heart. My heart felt heavy that I literally got down on my knees. I said, “God, I was arrogant!”

One by one, there were flashbacks just like in the movies. I remembered the comments I made. I remembered the time I judged and condemned other people’s actions because I thought what they were doing was not right and sinful. I was very ashamed of myself. I was proud. I was foolish!

One person stood out as I remember those I looked down to. This person had said unpleasant things to me but I didn’t say anything bad to her. But in my heart, I looked down at her with disgust. I thought she was low and that I was better than her. How proud I was comparing myself to her.

King Saul has wronged David and even attempted to murder him numerous times. But David didn’t take revenge. When Saul died he even grieved for him. How great this man’s heart is!

I was not like David. When I’m wronged, my pride carries me away. I look through other people’s mistakes and character, I judge them and speak ill about them. But that day, God spoke to me and touched my heart. He created each one of us after his own image. All creation belongs to God and it includes people that I hate. I have no right to look down, judge, or ridicule his creations. I am but a speck of dust and God can take away all that I have. God can strip me of the things that I boast of in a snap of a finger.

I realized if had my baby, the more proud and arrogant I will be. Truly, it was a humbling experience. Now, I understand why he allowed it to happen. He is gracious to me. He wanted me to learn something!

I confessed.

I repented.

After that I felt like I was released from my prison of hatred for this person. I prayed for her, that God will bless her life and her family. It was liberating. And most importantly, I’ve learned a valuable lesson, and I know my life will never be the same.