Pagi tadi sekitar pukul 3 dini hari di kediaman keluarga kecil Lumunon, terdengar bunyi getar HP. Victor mengangkatnya, dan beberapa menit kemudian setelah percakapan usai, he said, “Papa udah pergi.” Kalimat yang membingungkan buat orang yang masih setengah sadar, but since I know his vocabulary dan beberapa hari sebelumnya sudah ada pemberitahuan… well, I know what he meant.
His Dad passed away…
…after being hospitalized since Saturday
…in Amurang, his hometown in North Sulawesi
…alone, without his wife and kids
…and never got the chance to lay eyes on his only grand-daughter
Pusing… Dunia jungkir balik… Victor langsung telpon2an dan online untuk cari tiket ke Manado… Gue melirik Freya yang masih pulas di tempat tidurnya… I was supposed to be the one to spread the news to friends here… For the first time, my writing skill didn’t help. Seemed like all the words I chose were wrong or lack in meanings… Kok orang2 kalo ngirim SMS berita duka bahasanya bisa bagus begitu ya? Akhirnya yah, setelah berkali2 ngetik dan menghapus, SMS gue isinya merely facts… 140 characters are not enough to contain such a big emotion, methink.
Ketika nalar mulai jalan dan urusan mulai lancar… it occured to me that all we’ve got in this world is time. When your time is up in this world, well that’s it. There’s nothing you can do to change your life… You can no longer say sorry, thank you, I love you, or whatever it is you’ve been meaning to say but never leaves your mouth.
Victor’s time with his Dad was short… you can say that he grew up without his Dad.
My time with Victor’s Dad was even shorter… I only met him during the preparation of our wedding, and several times after that in family gatherings.
Freya’s time with his grandpa was non-existent, so to speak… he was already in Amurang when Freya was born and the two of them never met.
But to regret means you don’t appreciate the time you’ve got.
So what I’ve been meaning to say is: in spite of all those things, we have enough good memories of him that can last us a lifetime. Although his Dad wasn’t there when Victor was little, their relationship resumed as he grew up. Although I only met him several times in my life, I’m honored that he was there at our wedding. And although he never met Freya in person, he knew that he’s got a granddaughter before his time’s up.
For me, personally, I’d like to cherish our time together when he invited us to lunch about 2 years ago… He cooked us fish and seemed to be in element, something I rarely witnessed. When we were about to go home, he brought us some of the fish and told us to share it with my parents. I think that was the nicest memory about him, my long-lost father-in-law…
Rest in peace, Dad. I hope you enjoyed your time here on earth.