Precious moments with my father
As this issue hits the newsstands, Father's Day is only five days away! Unlike last year, many will have the opportunity to hug them in-person again and celebrate together. To honor the fathers who went to heaven during the past year and a half when the physical distancing mandate made it ever more difficult to put closure, I've asked my wife, Mely, to share her story. This is her telling her story ...
My father passed away in October of last year in the Philippines. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, I was unable to travel and be by his side. It was not easy, but something I had accepted, not being there to see him before he died. Like the rest of this country and the world, I could not attend his funeral to say goodbye. I still seek closure.
One of the fondest memories I cherish came when I gifted my parents a tablet for their 50th anniversary. When my dad saw my husband, who remained stateside, and I communicating via FaceTime, his eyes lit up. He asked me, "You mean I will be able to see you from thousands of miles away if I learn how to use this gift?" I said "yes" and knew I had his interest! He was determined to learn how to use it. Everyday during my visit, I would practice with him – how to turn it on, start FaceTime, and to accept video calls or make video calls.
My father was one of our avid supporters when my husband and I formed a nonprofit, Center for Aging in the Digital World, to empower seniors with digital literacy in 2015. He didn't question what we were doing, he didn't mock that we weren't making any money, but he "understood" that we answered a calling to help seniors by teaching them how to use technology. He only showed love, support and faith in our efforts. To me he was a dream dad, to have a dad who unequivocally believed in my pursuit. The nonprofit is 5 years old now and we're glad that we're still here helping seniors.
What I didn't imagine is the fact that technology would be our lifeline. When Dad first got sick and I was unable to travel due to distance and financial constraints, it was through FaceTime that I could see both his progress but also his rapidly declining health. It was through FaceTime how I said goodbye to him for the last time, telling him how much I loved him. After he passed, it was also through FaceTime with my mother that I strongly felt her anguish of what it means to lose the love of her life. It was heartbreaking when she asked me, "Who is going to hold my hand?"
Life is precious. We create precious moments each day and whether your loved ones are thousands of miles away or in the next city, technology provides options.
Strategist and technologist with over 30 years of experience in the private sector. Holds Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Science and Executive MBA from Cleveland State University.
As Founder of the Center for Aging in the Digital World, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit empowering seniors with digital literacy, Tak connects the dots to help people utilize appropriate technology in their personal and professional lives while using digital literacy as a tool for seniors to avoid loneliness and social isolation.