Opinion > The Ninja Girl
Don’t Say It with Flowers

Written by Ilocos Sentinel posted on Sunday, November 17th, 2013

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ID+for+FranchisingPHThis is an edited English version of my contest piece for the 22nd Filipino-Korean Cultural Festival’s Korean speech contest’s final competition last October 12, 2013. Though I didn’t win any award, a difficult fact for me to accept given my competitive nature, I had fun and learned a lot of things.
I learned than speaking effectively is so different from writing effectively. Speaking is much more interactive and dramatic.

I also learned that to give my best always, I need the help of a lot of people. To Teachers Bae and Noh for helping me correct the Korean version, to Mama and Jerry for helping me practice, and to all my friends who helped me, thank you so much.

The contest rules asked the participants to deliver a speech about our lives.
By sharing this speech, I hope that you gain a better perspective of how important it is for us to tell your loved ones how much we care for them, how much we love them, and how much we appreciate them in our lives.

***

A girl’s 18th birthday is supposed to be one of the most memorable days of her life. She becomes old enough to vote. She becomes old enough to receive flowers from suitors without her parents getting angry about it.

When I turned 18, it was supposed to be the time my father finally gives his permission for me to have a boyfriend. He didn’t give me that permission. Actually, he couldn’t. This year, this month in fact, it will be 15 years after he passed away.

Anyway, my father’s death was so sudden. All of us in our family, my mother, my sister, my two brothers, and everyone, were not emotionally prepared, but who is when a loved one dies? I haven’t seen my father for 5 months. And at a time when KakaoTalk and Facebook were not even ideas yet, I also haven’t talked to him over the phone for about 2 months. Yet during the last moments I spent with my father, I don’t remember telling him “I love you so much, Dad” when I should have told him in every opportunity I had. During the first 18 years of my life, I am sure I have had thousands of opportunities.

In truth, and this makes me sad, I don’t remember saying “I love you” even once.

Now, every time I go home, my family and I always visit my father’s grave. Every time we go, in front of his grave, we always say, “How are you Dad? We came home to visit you. We love and miss you so much.”

Also, sometimes we bring flowers. These visits always make me regret the opportunities I deliberately missed.

What use are the words I tell my father now? What use are the flowers when he can no longer appreciate them? No matter how many times I say “I love you Dad”, no matter how expensive the flowers I bring, he can no longer hear my words or see how red the roses are or even appreciate how fragrant the sampaguitas are.

No matter how many flowers I bring to my father’s grave, a single “I love you” when he was alive is worth a thousand of the most expensive flowers.

After my speech or when you go home, I hope you will tell your loved ones how much you appreciate them in your life and how much you love them.

For me, please tell your father “I love you so much Dad.” Don’t say it with flowers; tell him simply “I love you.” I wish I had told my father that every day.

Liza Gaspar is a wealth coach and personal finance enthusiast. She spends her free time helping out with the projects of the Rotary Club of Makati McKinley (rcmmckinley.org) and the Gerry Roxas Leadership Awardees (grlawardees.org). Visit her Web site at thegirlninja.com, email her at liza@thegirlninja.com, or visit her at www.facebook.com/annalizagaspar and TheGirlNinja.com.

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