Wednesday, May 5, 2010

after 12 years, i still miss you...

April 28, 1998: I received a call from a friend in the seminary. The youth camp is scheduled on the 1st of May until 3rd of May at a remote beach resort in Batangas. I was only 14 years old then. Even if I also have the waiver at hand, I was so afraid to ask permission from home. Mom was not around then, she went to the hospital to get your results. You saw the worry on my face, you took the phone and talked to Bro. I saw you seriously talking with him, and then you winked and handed me back the phone. I smiled after saying bye to Bro. That was also the last vivid smile I saw from you.

April 29, 1998: You could hardly stand up from bed. You said it was just the "normal" arthritis attack. I bought that statement, but mom didn't. You asked me if I had given the waiver to mom to sign, you just know how afraid I am of Mom. Mom hesitated to sign at first, but you told her, "let her explore the world outside of this house and of her school, give her the gift of independence." I loved you more on that. Despite the slurry speech that day, you gave me one of the best gifts I could ever have. You forced a smile, but your muscles betrayed you, it ended up like with a twisted lips.

May 1, 1998: I woke up early, ran to your side and hugged you. This day was the start of the youth camp. I will be away for a while. With a little difficulty, you said "take care and enjoy." Those were the last words I you said that I understood. Mom brought me to the meeting place, and left. She said she needs to buy you new set of clothes, but to never mention it to you when I get back. I asked her why, she said it's going to be a surprise. You're going to wear it on the election day.

May 3, 1998: I came back from the camp too late. A little later than what's on the waiver. It's because we had been to a fiesta on our way back. You were asleep already, Mom said that I leave the stories the next day for you were tired. I asked mom if I can sleep in your room, and she agreed. That night, at around 11:00pm, you woke up. I cried. I could not understand not even a single word coming out of your mouth. You were twitching on your bed, but I could not understand what you need. Mom came and helped you up to pee. I cried, as I saw tears running down your cheeks. I cried, as I saw Mom put you back in bed. I saw Mom cried as she wiped away your tears.

May 6, 1998: You gave up on eating. you turned away from medicines. You just kept on sleeping. Even if it was my uncle and aunt's anniversary, there was nothing to celebrate. The house is full of gloom. I held your hand, and you seem not to notice it. You breathe, yet you seems to be so far away. I cried. Mom said, I must stay in my room and do my thing. I ended up finishing the stitches I was making. Sadly, you were not able to see my stitching project done.

May 8, 1998, 2:00 in the afternoon: My cousin went to my room to see my stitching project. She was doing the same design. I was so excited to show her how far I had gone ahead of her. We were chatting, when we heard Mom's cry. We ran to your room, and saw Mom hugging you. Your sister holding the rosary and calling out your name. She kept shouting for you to come back, but you were just there, lying. I saw my auntie hugging Grandma, Grandma is crying, almost collapsing. Uncle told me to call their other siblings and tell them to go home. Then, my cousin made it clear to me, when she hugged me. I just cried. Held your hand and sit by your side as I cry with mom. You were gone.

In two days time it is 12 years since you left us. Almost the same time when you left us, election is about to happen. Even if it has been 12 years now without you, it doesn't change. Every smell of coffee flower reminds me of you, those times when I was small when you would put up the hammock by the coffee tree and we would spend hot summer afternoons there. Every coffee beans that I see being dried reminds me of you, those harvest times when you would bring me with you, and you'd laugh at me as I sort the red coffee beans from yellow, green and orange. I always give up in the end, it's too tedious to sort the beans by color, when we have tens of sacks of coffee beans for drying. The smell of shrimp paste reminds me of you. Those times when you had lost your appetite for anything, and would only eat shrimp paste with your rice. Do you know that I got that appetite from you? I'd rather eat shrimp paste with my rice than eat those fatty foods on the table. I remember you every summer, and all the times we had shared harvesting your crops and visiting your brothers while you teach me ride my bike. I remember you every May as you choose the best flowers for me to offer to the altar. I remember you every Santacruzan and how proud you are to see me and my cousins as part of the queens and princesses. The time that you left us, that was also when we lose interest on such event. I remember you on rainy days and how you would put on my rain jacket and rain boots and bring me around barangay with you. Because of you, a lot of people know who I am, but I could not remember, even their nicknames.

I remember you now that election is fast approaching. You were the one who instilled the political and history interest in me. I remember those times when the candidates would end up not finishing their visits because they enjoyed talking with you so much. I remember you every time I write an article or poem. You were my first fan, and I thank you for that. I remember you when I hear the radio. You were the one who taught me to tune in on the radio when I have nothing else to do. I remember you on Christmas season, and how our house is always filled with visitors, mostly are friends of yours. Since you left us, the house is hardly filled by people like how it used to be when you were here.

I remember you always, Mamay. And I will always remember you, no matter how many years would pass. 

You will always be remembered and loved.

5 comments:

Flo said...

This is a beautiful memorial of honoring.

kleine anne said...

Thanks Flo. I just miss my grandpa...

LipBlock said...

That is so sweet ......I hope i would be able to do that.........

http://lipblock.blogspot.com/

Mada said...

http://strop-de-vis.blogspot.com/

kleine anne said...

LipBlock, i know you can, you just need the right mood and the motivation... ^_^