It’s a scene we all know too well.
At the mall, he waits on an uncomfortable bench as you and your mom finish shopping. At the school parking lot, he sits in the car at dismissal hour as you say goodbye to your friends—which takes forever, of course. At the hospital, he nervously paces outside the big swinging doors, waiting for the doctors to say he is finally a father. At your graduation, he is at the edge of his seat ready to spring up in gleeful applause for when they finally hand you your degree. Because he’s waited for that proud moment since he first dropped you off at school when you were three.
After all, they are the ones who have always waited for us. The ones who were, and are always, there. Our dad, daddy, tatay, itay, papa, pa.
I lost my dad to a heart condition 11 years ago. I was only 16. But what I remember about him is that me and my ate could always count on him. He was gentle and kind-hearted. He was always ready to drive us around wherever we needed to be. We were ridiculously spoiled. I remember even camping out in the car one time with him and my mom outside Backstreet Boys’ 1997 Manila concert—my sister was inside with her friends. She will be all right, my mom told him. But he insisted to wait right outside, just in case. He was that kind of father. We were always his top priority. This is exactly what McDonald’s latest material showed us, too. Have you seen it? It’s about the dads who have always patiently, lovingly waited for their kids.
So as Father’s Day approaches, I wanted to write something in honor of all the dads out there who are just like my dad and the dads shown in the McDonald’s video. The dads who are unfailingly dependable. So I asked my friends, what is your fondest memory of when your dad waited for you?
The responses I got are truly heartwarming. Here are their stories.
5. The family reunion
“I was 22 when my parents were on a break. My mom lived with my lola and I lived with my dad. My 3-year-old brother spent weekdays with mom and weekends with dad. I took on the responsibility of picking up and dropping off my brother during those times. Dad waits for me and my brother all the time. He buys new toys for my brother and prepares food for us as he waits for us to get home. But the best, I remember, was this one time when I opened the door, and I saw him sitting there with a smile from cheek to cheek as he welcomed us all home…as a whole family.”
4. The lucky charm
“Basta fresh grad ako, tapos sa LB, probinsya. Clueless ako sa kalakhang Maynila. So first job interview ko, nag leave yung tatay ko para ihatid ako. 9 am ang exam. Umalis kami ng bahay ng 6 am para hindi kami matraffic. 7 yata nandun na kami.
Nasa ospital nun yung kapatid niya. Bumisita muna kami. By 9, start na yung exam ko. At nagtagal yun hanggang hapon. Nasa McDo lang siya nearby. Lumabas ako 1 na. Tsaka lang kami naglunch. Tapos bumalik pa ulit ako para malaman kung pasado ako sa first part. Pasado ako so nag-stay pa ulit ako ng 1 more hour or so para sa 2nd part.
Hindi ko na matandaan anong naramdaman ko nun. But thinking about it now, it’s something kasi mainipin siya. Pag lumalabas kami, lagi siya nagmamadali umuwi.”
3. The strict dad
“My dad is very strict and paranoid. I used to think his strictness would get in the way of me pursuing my dreams. But when I was accepted as a contributor for WhenInManila.com in my sophomore year of college, my dad drove me to all the events I covered. He wouldn’t join me at the events because we don’t always get to bring a +1. (And I didn’t want to look like a little girl with a a chaperone.) But he’d wait for me until the event finishes. We’d ride home together while I gush about all the cool things I got to do. I’m very grateful for how involved he is in my life. His strictness never held me back from my dreams. It just made him more involved and instrumental in them.”
2. The candy incident
“Nung bata ako, gusto ko ng candy pero ayaw kasi nila ako nagssweets so di nila ‘ko binibilhan. Stay-at-home dad si daddy non. So ginawa ko, from my savings tumakas ako papunta sa kapitbahay. Tapos after 2 minutes bigla umulan ng malakas. Ayon di ako nakauwi. He started looking for me sa buong bahay. Then I braved the rain kasi I could already hear his voice from the neighbor’s store.
When I came back home, he saw me all wet and he hugged me. Sabi nya, ‘don’t ever do that again. I got scared.’ Tapos after non pinagalitan nya ko ulit dahil sa candy hahahaha. 9 years old ako nun.”
1. The wedding
“I have plenty of images in my head of my dad patiently waiting—in the car with a book, outside my ballet classroom, after high school dances, by my college apartment to drop me off or pick me up, by the arrival gate after a 3-day Boracay trip, or after a year and a half of having 8,000 miles between us. But his longest wait yet was for me to come into this world—3 boys and 13 years later, to be exact.
And next year, he will wait by the church door, to hold my hand and walk me down the aisle.”
To honor the dads who have always patiently waited, as a special treat from McDonald’s, all dads who will visit their branches starting June 18 will get a free coupon for Premium Roast Coffee which they can claim at any McDonald’s until June 30.
To all the dads out there, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for always waiting.
How about you? What’s your best memory of when your dad waited for you? Do tell us your story in the comments. We’d love to read them. <3