Dearest Papa Joe,
The silver tree is up.
The lights are on.
But you’re not here with us to fill the air with Christmas carols.
You smiled and affirmed my boldness.
And yes, I can still recall how you giggled when Mama kept teasing you about your receding hairline.
I never thought I would welcome the first day of December
with nagging thoughts about you.
I never thought I would be this sad even with all the red trimmings around me.
I miss you so much, my hero!
Christmas will never be the same without you.
As I promised you, I will be strong.
I will be a joyful channel of God’s love to the people around me.
I will honor you by being passionate in everything I do.
Opo, Papa– bigay todo ako sa buhay, habang may hininga…
Forever your baby girl,