November 27, 2015
For others, it is an ordinary day, but for me and my family, it is a very special day.
Why? Because it is my father’s birthday.
And since it is his birthday, it should be a happy day, right?
Yes. Indeed. It is supposed to be a happy day.
But not this time for me, and, I am sure, even for the rest of my family.
Why? Because this is the first time we will spend this day without him.
But what really makes this day sad is it will mark the start of us spending all of his birthdays without him for good.
November 27, 1956
My father, Angelo C. Lopez, Jr., who was known to many as “Sonny,” and who we called “Papa” at home, was born on November 27, 1956.
Although I never witnessed his birth for evident reasons, I am sure he was born healthy.
April 20, 2015
Fast-forward to that fateful night of April 20, 2015, every single detail of which I could still vividly recall.
On that night, while inside my room putting my son Vitto to sleep, I suddenly heard Papa calling me.
By the time I answered back, he asked me to bring him to the hospital right away.
Although he never admitted it to me back then each time I asked, I knew by the way he moved, he was in an excruciating pain.
And so I wasted no time and rushed him to the The Medical City Clark, where he had stayed until the next day.
April 21, 2015
While at The Medical City Clark, Papa had undergone series of tests.
When the results came out on the early morning of April 21, 2015, we were told he had suffered a heart attack and was immediately brought to the Intensive Care Unit.
But because The Medical City Clark was not yet fully operational then, we had to transfer him to another hospital.
And so on the afternoon of that same day, on board an ambulance, we transferred him to the Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City.
June 10, 2015
Because he had survived a massive heart attack and since we were able to transfer him successfully to the Philippine Heart Center on April 21, 2015, I was confident then I would be able to bring Papa back home from the hospital alive soon.
But God had other plans for him, because on the morning of June 10, 2015, his heart made its final beat.
Papa’s death was something I never thought would ever happen so soon.
I never even thought I would pick him up from a morgue and bring him back home lifeless.
But what I really thought of was he would live until his old age, and we, his family, would celebrate and spend more of his birthdays with him.
I thought we would have more years to walk together, more years on radio together, and more years to do all the things we used to do together as father and son.
I must admit my heart still bleeds even to this day because of his death. And I am sure it will not stop bleeding anytime soon.
I still cannot believe he is already gone for good. I still want to think his death was just part of a dream in that I would still be able to touch, see, and speak with him again the moment I wake up.
Papa would have turned 59 if only he were still with us today.