He fumed when I told him I wanted to be a missionary. I ought to look out for myself and my family first, he said. It vexed him to see his son take such a risky and underpaying job after he had put me through excellent schooling. That was a painful conversation for both of us.

My dad didn’t talk about himself very often. Only at his wake did I learn two very important things.

First. On his coffin we placed a picture of him smiling. More than once, visitors pointed out (unsolicitedly): “That’s Mel! His smile, that’s exactly how he was. A good friend.” This confused me, for I knew my dad to be a hard man.

Second. Many of his college friends were at the wake. They had something in common. They were activists. I learned that my dad was a leader among activists. This also confused me; didn’t my dad say I should look out for myself first? Then I hear that he fought for human rights during Martial Law?

My biggest regret is that I did not understand my dad very well.

So here’s to Mel P. Abundo, wherever you are. Thank you for being my dad. I love you very much.

Dad ID pic

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=788292663 Michelle Pauline Abundo

    I love you dad. You are always remembered.