I could vividly remember that Sunday – just a little over a year and a half ago, when my mother lost the love of her life, and I, along with my four sisters, lost the one person we were blessed to call Dad all our lives.
On that Sunday, a little after lunch, a wife, four daughters and an only son surrounded their one true superhero, with hearts breaking, one by one. It was the coldest room we had ever been in together, and the unending sounds of the beeping machines echo back to us to this day. Everything happened so fast, but in slow motion.
It was the most painful heartbreak in our lives. As it has only been less than two years, it still is the most painful heartbreak – still very fresh and still stinging to this day. In fact, it cuts deeper as the longing becomes much more intense as the days, months and years go by. This Sunday will be our second father-less Father’s Day, and the ache is as it was on that Sunday almost two years ago.
But on this Father’s Day, there is nothing better than to remember him and share some of the things I truly miss about him, and one of the most important lessons he embedded deep in my heart.
The many lives he touched in his lifetime know how unbelievably loving, intelligent and compassionate he was. Truly, he was a very special soul just way too good for all the uncertainty the world is in right now. Indeed, a good soul never leaves this earth a second too early nor a second a too late. God blessed him with a golden heart that stopped beating for us and all he loved just at the right and most perfect time. I knew God couldn’t wait to have someone just like him to be up there with Him already.
What keeps ringing in my head lately are these words, “Never do anything without putting your whole heart into it.”
Dad may have only said this to me once or twice in my life, but he never failed to indirectly show this to me and my siblings in his actions throughout his life. He always walked this talk. “It should not just be your whole heart,” his actions spoke, “it should be your mind and soul as well.” Actions do not just matter in the big things, but also and just as equally, in the small things of everyday life.
It may be as simple as keeping things tidy in the bedroom, making sure everything is pleasing to the eyes. He could just be fixing his bed in the morning, but that simple act, done right, is an accomplished first task that starts all the other tasks for the day. Making his bed first thing in the morning pushes him to finish them all.
It could be as complicated as trying to close a project at work, making sure every step he takes to win a client’s heart is done with every fiber of his being without crossing any line. Without putting his heart, mind and soul into anything that he does is as useless as not doing anything at all.
Dad also loved to cook. That’s the one thing I saw him do often – from breakfast, lunch, merienda, and dinner. From doing his own grocery shopping to selecting the perfect piece of meat, from the meticulous preparation of ingredients to the cooking with love, to finally presenting it to us his family like a gift. And to cap it all off, just for Mom, the love of his life, he always made sure he had a special plate that was not spicy or did not have any ingredient she did not like. He cooked to make people happy — with his whole heart, mind and soul.
Looking back, I could only get one lesson from his careful and thorough process of doing these things including his favorite hobby. He always did it for one reason only: Us. It was always for us, his family, his most precious and greatest gift. We were always the reason why he did all the things in his life completely, with his whole heart, his whole mind and his whole soul.
Despite his busy work schedule, he made sure he spent time with each and every person he loved, even if it meant bringing the whole brady brunch to work with him. To say he worked hard every single day is an understatement, and it was only so he could retire at the very tender age of 52 and spend the rest of his life taking us to vacations everywhere we wanted. No matter what, we were always his reason. That’s how he showed his beautiful heart to us. That’s how he perfectly showed what it takes to do the simplest things to the most complex.
Because of him, I learned that there will never be any other way to do anything and everything in this world and in our lifetime except through the heart.
Rico H. Gomez works alongside his four siblings in their interior design firm, Idea Forma Designers Co. Rico’s two eldest sisters started the business in 2009 and Rico joined them five years after, soon after graduating from college. Although he took up a Liberal Arts course, his father advised him to try and join his sisters. He then started out as Project Manager, handling clients and coordinating with various suppliers. He is currently the Assistant General Manager of the firm.
Though already in a family business spending almost everyday with his siblings, Rico still loves nothing but to spend his free time and weekends with his family, his many nephews and nieces, and his girlfriend. Travelling is one thing they all love to do together.