Coping with Depression

My dad gave me a dollar and I felt rich

The one dollar bill my dad gave me.

If you have been reading my posts, you’d know that my daddy passed away last April 28, sadly on my birth month too. It has been tough for us on coming to terms with the loss especially at this time of the year when families reunite for Christmas. This would be the first Christmas that my siblings and I won’t have our dad to celebrate the season with. The sadness of not having dad is so profound that neither my beads nor my oils seem to help take away the feeling of loss and longing to see my dad again.

A few days ago I decided to look back to the moments that my dad made me feel so loved. One such moment was when my dad gave me a one dollar bill one Christmas. He got the dollar from a friend who got home from the US. I don’t remember who gave it to him but he kept it in his wallet for a while. When I got home for Christmas break a few years ago he handed the one dollar bill to me as gift. My dad, who was a pastor during the last decade of his life, had no money to his name. All the cash gifts the church got went to operational expenses and to the church’s scholars. That dollar was all he had at the time and he gave it to me – a gesture that happened rarely as I was usually the one who gave him money, being employed and all.

He said jokingly, “Pasensya na anak, yan lang mabibigay ko sayo. Hindi mayaman si daddy.” (I’m terribly sorry child if this is all I could give you. Daddy is poor.)

On the contrary, when dad gave me that one dollar, I felt abundant. When someone who has nothing gives you blessing, it is worth all the treasures in the world. Dad had provided for us before he got seriously ill with diabetes. When he died, I made sure he didn’t leave a huge debt behind from all the hospital expenses. I paid for majority of the bills as payback for all the things he did for us. It cost me a big chunk of my quit claim from the company I used to work for but I wholeheartedly did it for dad as my final gift. I returned the one dollar he gave me with a respectable wake, fully-paid hospital bills, and a decent burial site (along with my siblings’ help of course). He may have left us without inheritance in the form of properties or liquid assets, but his undying faith and conviction made us feel abundant and secured. His conviction to get us through college despite the lack of money was what pulled us through. My dad’s faith rubbed on to me that it was often easy for me to be fearless and positive. We were poor but we didn’t feel poor.

I miss you dad. Thank you for the dollar you gave me. I won’t be able to buy anything much with it but it had definitely taught me about your love. That love is absolutely enough for us. Without meaning to, perhaps, you have given me valuable lessons about money that I never learned in the university.

“The blessings given by those who had nothing is worth all the treasures in the world.”

I would like to end this post by sharing this goosebump moment the same day that I pulled out the dollar from my wallet. I was listening to an album of classical piano pieces when one piece ended and the music changed to “Safe” by Victory Worship, one of dad’s favourites. I cried all throughout the song. When it ended, my Spotify resumed to playing classic piano pieces. It was weird coz Safe was not in the playlist. I’m happy nonetheless, that my dad spoke to me through music. I once called him my Angel of Music while listening to “Phantom of the Opera” on the way to the university back in college. We both loved that album! He used to bring me to school before going to his work. Those were the good days with dad that I truly miss.

I love you dad. Merry Christmas in heaven.

P.S. If you are reading this and have also lost someone, hang in there. You are loved and never alone.

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