APOLOGIA : A Father’s Letter to A Son

5 Oct

Dear Indigo,

It’s lousy, isn’t it ?  This thing we call life.

Somebody once said, “Life’s a bitch, because if it’s a slut, then it would be easy..”  I laughed at that time, but now I am finding it hard to understand what’s so funny about it.

It all began when earlier this year I, – your father, was positively confirmed beyond doubt that I have HIV.  Courtesy of some bad choices that I made in the past, my body had finally succumbed to the harsh realities.

You know what’s hard about it, Son ?  It’s not the fact that I am suffering.  Or even dying, for that matter.  No.  It’s because I may not be there on your graduation day.  It’s because I may not sit there on the couch, waiting for you to introduce me to your first girlfriend.  And it’s because I may not stand beside your mother, posing for some family picture, carrying your first-born child on my hand.

At that time, I thought I passed it.  I mistakenly believed that my grief is over, safely sealed, so I can get on with life and prepare to what I can do to make our family’s circumstances better before my time comes.  And boy, was I wrong.

For one day before my birthday, at the 11th of July, you were confirmed to have autism.  Why so, in the name of the God that I worship ?  Why you ? How many more blows have I to take ?  And why should my family bear the legacy of my sins ?


As I write this, Son; my eyes are filled with tears. Your condition hit me much harder than my disease.  Come to think about it, I just can’t comprehend the hard realities you’ll have to face, the confusion you’ll have to bear and the wounds that will inevitably come your way.

I can go on and on about this.  Yet I know that I have to worry hurry and get to my point.  For I really do not know when will you read this.  Will I still be around then ?  I simply can not predict what happens.

Here’s my message.  Your father was a scoundrel.  My life was a blatant embodiment of the word “joyride”, marked by  short, thrilling bursts of brilliance, but followed by  sharp and sickening downward turns.  Hence the consequences that I have to bear afterwards.

I want you to understand, Son, that I’m sorry it happened that wayI apologize that I’m not the man I can potentially be.  I beg your forgiveness that I do not have even half of the life that I previously planned for you and the family.

But am I implying that not for one moment you should live recklessly like that ?  Not at all.  Because by now, you should have some idea that I am not your unusual next-door-dad.  On the contrary, I want you to live life to the fullest and inhale its exhilarating draughts.  The only difference I want you to strive for is Victory.  In the end, I want you to overcome the world and whatever life has in store for you.  Oh, you may need to bear your battle scars, but they will be like some shining badges of courage that are there for you to be proud of.


It’s sickening how grief can break you.  That’s why I want to close this short letter in a positive tone.

Don’t be afraid, my dear Indigo.  I do not have any plan to leave this world soon.  I know that I have no idea when will I depart to answer His call ; – but to combine Bon Jovi and The Psalms -,  “until I’m 6-feet under, I’m gonna live while I’m alive”, for “this is the day that the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it”

And when finally I’m not beside you at whatever point in your life, just take a look around, and find me in every bright rays of sunlight, every unusual forms of cloud, every extraordinarily shiny flowers, and every summer rain.  If you look hard enough, perhaps I’ll even be there in some lousy notes of Debbie Gibson’s songs ( your mom hates her, by the way ).

Whatever it is, rest assured that I will not abandon you.  Alive or not, I’ll slay whatever dragons come your way.  Come what may…..


( On January 2008, the writer was confirmed to have HIV.  His son, to whom this post is addressed and dedicated, is declared to have autism 7 months afterwards )



This letter was re-blogged by a nice friend of mine, Silly, in her blog here.

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11 Responses to “APOLOGIA : A Father’s Letter to A Son”

  1. snydez October 7, 2008 at 12:24 am #

    be tough as your dad ya.. 🙂

  2. unquote October 7, 2008 at 9:29 pm #

    @snydez Taken literally, yes, it is hard to be my dad 🙂

    But I read your meaning… and I thank you for that 🙂 Denny, you have a good man for a father…

  3. kata dia November 3, 2008 at 11:58 am #

    Bagus sekali tulisannya. I’m sincerely touched. All the best for you and your gorgeous son.

  4. unquote November 3, 2008 at 12:16 pm #

    @kata dia Thanks, I do hope this will inspire some people 🙂

  5. Dee Kusuma February 2, 2009 at 6:47 am #

    After hearing it from you directly, I still have the goosebumps all over..and reading this blog, I have a mix feeling that I just can’t describe…I feel like I’m powerless as your friend but I want you to know that I always hope for the best for you..and knowing you is one of the precious experience I ever had in mu life..stay strong and alive,my dear friend!

  6. unquote February 2, 2009 at 7:02 am #

    @Dee Nobody is powerless… You did a very powerful thing by listening to me the other day… The fact that you did not turn your back on me and walk away tells me strongly what kind of friend you are.. A very wonderful one 🙂 Dosvedanya 🙂

  7. Annisa December 1, 2009 at 3:34 pm #

    Hi, i’m one of your follower on twitter 🙂
    I have a brother who got AIDS too, so i just want to say that i think i know how you feel…and I admire the courage that you and your family have.
    All the best for you and your family 🙂

  8. unquote December 1, 2009 at 10:11 pm #


    Thank you, Mam… Likewise, all my best for you and your brother ya 🙂

  9. Iqra October 10, 2012 at 2:08 am #

    Mas, I read your story in The Jakarta Post…it’s really inspiring…keep fighting for your life and your family…all the best! (and God will do the rest, for sure)


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