Until your last breath, I knew you told God to grant me my greatest desire | Inquirer Lifestyle
Trisha Cruz Cuason dancing with her dad, Ricardo Cruz, on her wedding day

Until your last breath, I knew you told God to grant me my greatest desire

Trisha Cruz Cuason dancing with her dad, Ricardo Cruz, on her wedding day

Dearest Papa,

I can’t believe it has been 17 years!

As I write this, your birthday is just a couple of days away, and I can’t help but feel blessed that God gave me a father who loved me to the fullest. To honor you, let me share the lessons I learned from you.

You taught me that coming from a simple background will not hinder anyone from becoming successful. I saw how you worked hard to rise in your career. I remember how, when you worked in government, you decided to take lessons to improve your communication skills. I admired you for trying to work on your weakness.

You taught me to care for people and to not discriminate. When we had visitors in our plant, you would tell me that I should not let them wait, to respect their time no matter their position.

You taught me to be open about my feelings and not to keep them inside. I remember you had a spat with Mom and you cried to me and told me how much you loved her. You were always humble and you never used silence to hurt us or teach us a lesson. You were honest and direct.

You taught me about balance. I remember your golf Saturdays were untouchable, but you made sure that Sunday was for family, and that we all bonded after mass.

You taught me that a bad habit can be broken. New Year’s Eve 1998, you smoked your last cigarette. You nonchalantly told me, “I’m quitting.” I remembered shouting ecstatically, amazed because I knew that giving up smoking a pack a day was hard.

March 7, 2005, our last conversation, was you telling me to keep calm and to take care of myself. I never thought that you would be gone that very night, shot by an unknown gunman.

I bargained with God to keep you alive, that I don’t mind not becoming a mother as long as you lived. But you left us and I became a mom. Until your last breath, I knew you told God to grant me my greatest desire.

Thank you for the wonderful memories and the life lessons you’ve imparted to me. I love and miss you very much!

—Trisha