The trembling hands of Mr. Ricardo picked up the spoon. He immersed it in a bowl of cold soup prepared by his only daughter Tessa. Mr. Ricardo suffered from a haemorrhagic stroke last year and as result his left side of the body was paralysed. Tessa, his only daughter is working as a bank manager and now with her own family. Mr. Ricardo was leaving with Tessa and her family. Tessa’s husband is a seafarer and went home only once a year especially during Christmas and New Year. Mr. Ricardo doesn’t have a caregiver instead he was the one taking of his own self because Tessa was very busy during the day and very tired during the evening.
One day, in the dining table-
“This Life is full of stress! I need to take care of problems in the bank and problems here in the house!” Tessa was complaining of the burden of her work both in the workplace and in the house. Mr. Ricardo was eating and didn’t mind Tessa’s verbalization because he was considering that his daughter was just tired and stressed.
After the supper, Mr. Ricardo tried to wipe the table and he tried to wash the dishes. Because of paralysis of the left hand he cannot perform the task properly. However, he tried to accomplish it because he doesn’t want to be a burden to his daughter. While attempting to wash the plate, he accidentally dropped it and the plate was shattered into pieces.
“Dad! What are you doing! Look at that! You broke the plates which were very special to me. You know that it is very expensive. And you can’t afford it! Please stop acting that you have the ability to carry out chores here you are useless!” Tessa shouted.
Her father looked at Tessa with teary eyes. Mr. Roberto cannot speak also because of his disease condition. He cannot express his feelings. He tried to pick up the shattered pieces plate but Tessa stopped him to do so.
“Stop! Let me clean it! If you will acquire a wound it will be my problem. Just go to your room and rest. Let me do the house chores! It can do this.”
Mr. Roberto went to his room in a slow pacing. He could barely walk without his cane. He was depressed because of what his daughter just told him. He thought that he was very useless and just a family’s burden. In Mr. Roberto’s room was a photo album. He lied down on his bed and scanned the photo album beneath his bed. Inside the photo album were various pictures of his daughter Tessa. Mr. Ricardo was smiling reminiscing the past.
He examined very closely the pictures of his only daughter whom he loves very much. From the day she was born to the important milestones of her life; Mr. Ricardo has a picture and it gave him joy upon seeing those images. After he finished scanning the pictures and reminiscing the past, he placed and hid the album underneath his bed because he considered it as his only treasure in life. He doesn’t have that money, property and his daughter was not treating him nicely.
The next day, Mr. Roberto woke up late. He was hungry and he went to their dining area to have breakfast. However, he was left but empty plates by Tessa. She did not prepare foods for his father. Mr. Ricardo opened the refrigerator and picked a loaf of bread. He varnished it with mayonnaise cream and he ate his self-made sandwich. Despite of the bread, still Mr. Ricardo was hungry. To appease the sadness within him, he moved out the house and went to the garden. There he saw the beautiful plants of Tessa composed of red and white roses, yellow bell and various kinds of orchids. Despite the difficulty Mr. Roberto tried to water the lovely plants of his beloved daughter. After the work Mr. Ricardo took a nap.
Tessa went home after a stressful day. She saw his father watching television.
“I’m working all day and here you are watching Television for all throughout the day. Please! Help me save and cut expenses, the electricity is very expensive nowadays. If I were you I would try to ambulate often to exercise my bones and joints and not just sitting and watching your favorite shows.” Tessa said.
Mr. Ricardo because of depression did not take his supper. He was deeply hurt because of Tessa’s treatment of him. He went inside his room and again looked upon the album; smiling and recalling happy moments with his daughter and wife.
The next say, Mr. Ricardo was very excited because it was Tessa’s birthday. He decided to prepare for something special once Tessa has arrived. He remembered that during Tessa’s previous birthdays when Tessa was still young he tends to buy special cakes, ice cream and gifts preferably dolls as presents. Tears fell from the eyes of Mr. Ricardo because he could not provide these things after he suffered from stroke. Instead of foods Mr. Ricardo made a bouquet of fresh flowers from the garden. He placed it on the dining table so that when Tessa arrives she could see it immediately.
It was almost dining time when Tessa and her friends arrived home. They bought cakes, wines and many other foods to celebrate. Tessa saw the bouquet of flowers in the table. However, she threw it in the garbage can. She noticed that his father was not in the living room. She presumed that Mr. Ricardo was asleep now. However, Mr. Ricardo was in his room hungry and depressed. On the other side of the house, the visitors ate and partied until the midnight. After the birthday party her friends went home.
The next day, Tessa went to work early and Mr. Ricardo left home unattended again. The old man searched for food to eat but find nothing. To distract his hunger and loneliness he went again to the garden to water the flowers. He was about to go out when he saw his bouquet of flowers on the trash can. Mr. Ricardo cried because his daughter did not even appreciate his gift for her. She was even ashamed of presenting his father to his friends. Mr. Ricardo was crying while watering the flowers.
It was already past midnight and Tessa wasn’t inside the house. Mr. Ricardo was worried because it was unusual for Tessa to go home late. Tessa was asked by his superiors to attend a 2 day conference outside town and she accepted it without considering his father. Mr. Ricardo fell asleep while waiting for Tessa.
For the past two days, Mr. Ricardo hasn’t taken any food. He was about to move out from his bed when he felt weakness, a throbbing headache and nausea and vomiting. He also experienced difficulty in breathing and chest tightness. He was yelling for help but cannot utter any words.
Tessa didn’t know that his father was in grave danger. She knew that it was his birthday. She bought some chocolate cake for him. Upon arrival, she noticed that his father was not in the living room or in the dining table. She immediately went inside the room of his father and she noticed that Mr. Ricardo was not moving and breathing.
“Dad! Dad! Speak to me!” Tessa cried.
Mr. Ricardo was cold and pale.
“Dad! Happy birthday! Please! Wake up don’t make a fool out of me, stop pretending that you are dead! I hate you!” Tessa checked the pulse of his father and it was absent. She cried heavily; she hugged her father while uttering words of forgiveness.
“Dad I am sorry, for shouting at you, for not caring for you! For not respecting you!” Tessa cried.
On his bed, Tessa noticed his album. While opening the album she noticed a note saying, though the handwriting was bad but understandable.
“To my one and only Tessa: In case I break a plate or a cup, don’t yell at me. I always have self-pity when you yell at me. When my hearing acuity decreases and I can’t hear you, please don’t call me deaf. Im sorry my child, I’m becoming a burden, when my knees become weaker I hope you will assists me in ambulating, I know you are busy at work, but I want you to know that I missed you. Do you remember when you were in grade school? I used to tell stories about your favorite cartoon character? When the time comes that I will become bedridden, I hope you will have the patience to care for me,. I’m sorry Im not going to last any longer, when the time my end comes, I hope you will hold my hand and assist me, and don’t worry, when I’m in heaven, I will whisper God to bless you, Thank you and I love you.”
Mr. Ricardo died from Heart attack.