These were some of the most memorable words my father-in-law told me. Honesty at it's best and it was beautifully said. We laughed after he told me those words as I somehow agreed to what he said.
About three weeks before Mang Boy passed away, I happened to enjoy watching cooking shows on Food Network Asia and NatGeo People. Somehow to pass time and learn at the same time. Most of these times, Mang Boy was watching with me and together we seemed to appreciate what we were watching. People cooking and eating like nobody else's business or some hosts tour around the world for some good eats and watch them fall like crazy. He loved to eat and that made the watching more fun. He commented one time on an Italian Beef Stew (sort of) slow cooked in red wine... "Parang Adobo lang yan ah!" and a beatiful smile on his face like he was tasting it already.
On Tuesday before he left, we watched the Rachel Ray show and as I was drooling of the food she was preparing, I told him that I might try to cook it myself. I am no cook. In fact I don't cook unless it's about cooking rice or fried fish and all that simple and uncomplicated cooking stuffs.
"Luto kaya ako nyan Mang Boy. Sa tingin mo?" :D
His eyes was still glued on TV and simply commented... "Palagay ko 'di mo kaya yan..."
I laughed and asked for a reconfirmation of what he just told me... "'di nga Mang Boy? hahaha!"
"Palagay ko di mo kaya..." with an honest squirm or grin on his face or whatever that was. I laughed. He laughed. That's it.
I miss my dad-in-law. To be honest, yesterday was one of the loneliest days since he left. As if it was all sureal. I can barely talk. I just want to cry, to be honest. I always tell my friends how lucky I am to have such nice in-laws. Ironic since I often hear some people complain about their in-laws and all. But I don't have such a feeling towards them especially to Mang Boy. He played a big role to my being a father to my kids. He may not talk much but he seemed to relay a lot of wisdom to me most of the time. Well not at all serious thoughts but all made sense. He was the kind of person that you can easily get along with... even if you were just a nobody. He just didn't care much about who he was talking to.
He was the kind of person who would talk to some unsuspecting strangers and made conversations with them. PR at it's best. He would talk to the cashier at some store and tease her. He would call me and include me in their conversation and the three of us would laugh so hard. The cashier would blush when she realized that the joke was on her... "Ano ba sir? wala namang ganun..." would be an easy comment.
He easily gets mad at some petty things but he was fast at forgetting about being mad. He always told me that he will die a happy man because he doesn't have quarels with anyone. When things get loose, he will fix it as soon as possible. He was a handy man. He fixed everything.. broken electronics, broken furnitures, broken doors... even broken lives. One last major fixing that he did was about a son of his nephew. Thought really that was a major blow. He was really stressed with the situation but he was able to fix (hopefully) a little bit after some convincing. My wife was really worried about him that day. He was not supposed to be stressed that big because of his illness. At the end of the day, he was happy with what he did. We were just hoping that it was all worth it... really.
My relationship with Mang Boy was not at all perfect. There were few times that we had some misunderstandings but we always found ways to fix it. I really had a beautiful friendship with him and I cherish that friendship until I die. I was not even ashamed to tell him that I love him... Awkward it may seem to many but I was not ashamed to tell him that. Sometimes in a fun way but I will not forget that day when I told him that quite seriously because I mean it.
The past 11 months, he made peace with his God. He learned to stare death like it was really going to come to him soon and played along with it. He accepted a certain fate especially in the last weeks when he subtly told us that he was going soon... Sadly, we didn't pick up quite well. If we could have known... We could have waited a couple more days and stayed with him. But it was not the way it was. It is really hard to digest but life has to move on eh. Life has to move on.
I thank God for giving me nice in-laws. It would have been hard to imagine life if they were not that great. Here's hoping that everyone moves on quite easily from here and live life to even more fuller than it was.
So long, Mang Boy. I miss you. I love you. I sincerely wish that I was with you in your last day and took care of you. There would have been enough answers to some questions now. But it was your time to go and we have to let you go... and we have nothing to do about it but just let some questions hanging and leave them just that...
Until we meet again Mang Boy and we will watch some cooking shows again, yeah!