A daughter’s love for her father

Can you forgive a father who seemed to abandon you at a time of crisis?

(Editor’s note: Names changed due to sensitivity of the story)

Elena says she can, though it is difficult because of his seemingly unfather-like actions. “At first it was difficult. I was confused. I was asking why he did it to us, leaving us like this,” Elena shares.

Her father, Rowel, is a jeepney driver, earning meagerly on a day-to-day basis.

“My father is an alcoholic. There is not even a day when he wouldn’t drink with his friends, and at our house at that. He didn’t even consider that he has three daughters,” the child says.

Rowel’s drinking habit has been the cause of his parents’ quarrel and the family’s depleted budget. Elena’s mother, Emily, earns meagerly from her regular work.

When the COVID-19 pandemic happened and movement was limited or restricted, Elena’s father has been acting differently.

“He said somebody’s out there to kill him. He asked to go home in his hometown to be safe. He promised that he will work there to support us,” Elena says. Her father’s hometown is in another distant province.

She continues, “But when he reached his hometown, nothing has changed. He didn’t look for work. He even thought that some people are there to harm him.”

Though Rowel has not been checked by a medical practitioner due to the family’s tight budget, Elena thinks his father’s “depression” is caused by his constant drinking.

“I thought my case was unique. But when I attended a World Vision activity and heard from some teens that they also have family problems, I realized I wasn’t alone. I listened attentively to how they surpassed their own struggles.”

Elena was referring to World Vision’s PARK (Pinoy Abstinence and Risk Avoidance for Youth) training, which teaches youth on relationships, love and responsibility. PARK also discusses the importance of love and respect to one’s self, others, family members and God.

Learning from her fellow youth who attended the said training, Elena gradually opened her heart to forgive his father. “I continuously pray for him.”

Elena is coping with current challenges posed by COVID-19 on her education and to her family by regularly talking with her mother and her siblings, and by pouring out her emotions through writing poems.

Elena’s family recently received a World Vision family activity workbook which aims to deepen relationship and understanding among family members.

“I always pray that my family will overcome this challenge. I really want to see us complete again and my father with us. I also wish that everything would go back to normal again where we can physically attend school and not fear COVID-19,” Elena says