(This is a part of the series of posts, 12 Days of Christmas, done in my own way. I wanted to participate in the 12 Days of Christmas/Anime even before it started, but things got out of hand, so I wasn’t able to prepare for the posts to be published on time. I was about to give up on it some days ago, but I remember that I even broke the usual schedule of the traditional 30 Day Anime Challenge. Why not approach the 12 Days of Christmas the way I did with the 30DAC? Since I’m going to do this anyway, I will make it in such a way that the last post will be published on New Year’s.)
There’s this Shinkai Makoto short (Someone’s Gaze/ Dareka no Manazashi) I watched last year, but left a lasting impression on me. It immediately connected to me on a very personal level that I sometimes thought of the short and reflected on my life with my parents.
The anime short is a CM for Proud Apartment. It’s about a working lady, Okamura Aya (Aa-chan), and her dad. The narration is told from their pet cat’s perspective.
From the first time I watched this short I could see a bit of myself in Aa-chan. I, too, had an awkward distance with my dad. It’s not that we had a sour parent-child relationship. It’s just that as I grew up, I became less and less talkative, even to my dad. I’m originally a mama’s girl anyway, so I didn’t mind the silence between me and my dad. It was really awkward, though, when we were alone in the house and mom had other things to attend to outside the house. I usually just stayed in my room and we had nothing to talk about. And when we did have something to talk about, it’s almost always my dad who started the conversation. I did strike up conversations sometimes when we’re all feeling good and I was in the mood to just talk with my parents.
After watching the short, I was too emotional and my dreams for my family burned in my mind like a fervent reminder. I want to really make my parents happy. I can’t wait to graduate and start working while still living with my parents as I am all they have. And, just like how it ended well with Aa-chan, I want us to stay together, even when I grow older, and live happily without worries. All they have is me and all I have is them.
I wish I did more. I wish. That only stays a wish that will never be realized, because there will never be the three of us again.
Dad’s hair wasn’t even fully white yet. I haven’t graduated either. Nor have I started working and earning money. Nor have we taken a formal family picture of the three of us. While I will always remember myself not doing anything for dad, I will always remember him and the great things he did for me while I was growing up. His shiny head. His strong and muscular arms that didn’t seem his age. His random, funny, and silly dances.
After all, I loved my dad and I still do. And I will never forget that it all happened in Christmas season, too. My mind will repeat these three words time and time again: “I miss you.”