An Open Letter to the Writers of This is Us

Dear Writers,

I want to commend you on this evening’s episode about Randall and his father, William. 

You see, I too lost my father. I too face anxiety on a daily basis. I too retreat into my own self, my own mind, my own world when I am not able to cope with the outside world.

I am Randall. 

I’ve had my fair share of hospitals. Initially these visits were positive as I’d walk in pregnant and get wheeled out with a healthy baby. But then my father got sick.

He came to visit when our middle child was still the youngest child back in 2006. My husband was stationed in Virginia and he flew from California to spend time with his only two grandchildren. Near the end of his month long visit he did not look well but refused to go to a doctor. Instead he insisted that he was flying home in a couple of days and that, of course, he’d be fine when he returned home. 

He wasn’t. 

My mother and his sisters took him to the emergency room immediately. “Why didn’t you take him to the hospital?” they asked.

He didn’t want to go. Of all people, his wife and his sisters should have known how stubborn he was. 

They asked me to come home that night. I knew they were asking me to come home to say goodbye. 

My father, though present in my life, was not the most nurturing father per se but did what any elderly immigrant Filipino father could do. I knew he was proud of me. I knew he loved me. I knew he loved his grandchildren. He never said those things but I felt it. 

I felt it.

Soon after my father passed, I found myself in the emergency room. Heart palpitations. Stomach cramps. Shortness of breath. A self fulfilling prophesy born in the halls where my father died. 

But I was fine. I am fine. I am my own definition of fine.

Thank you for portraying this father-child relationship with honesty and without restraint. Thank you for showing a dying man who was literally living every moment as if it was his last moment as a reminder for us to do the same. Thank you for reminding me how much I loved this mysterious, stoic man who was my father. Thank you for reminding me that even though I physically felt the moment my father left this world, he never left my heart. 

Sincerely,

Someone who misses her dad

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