Sunday, August 1, 2010
i remember four years ago, at exactly this date, i couldn't sleep. i was still on the night shift at that time and was trying to achieve a horizontal position on broad daylight. but every time i close my eyes, i would envision grandma's face. there was really something that day. i tossed and turned and finally resolved to get up and pay her a visit.
there, was my uncle who came home all the way from the land down under when he heard of her sickness and my tita who was slowly combing grandma's hair as she would always request so she would fall asleep. the moment i entered, i kissed her and asked tita how grandma was. she said she hasn't eaten since supper.
my uncle then, who settled himself -face down- on the wooden bench next to grandmas bed, asked me if i could massage his back. knowing that he hasn't gotten any sleep (he watched over grandma the entire night),i politely obeyed. after about two minutes of kneading, we heard grandma let out a low grunt; i stopped and the three of us in the room looked at each other as if asking -"what was that?!". we were somewhat relieved when we heard her take a deep breath after. i continued massaging uncle's back and tita proceeded to comb grandma's hair again. but we were closely listening to her breathing. she was inhaling calmly now but the intervals in between each breath increased. and then there was a low grunt again and we waited for the next breathing but there was none. i was shocked and so was tita. uncle got up in a heartbeat and shook grandma. he was calling her name, asking her to wake up with a trembling voice. there was no response. and then there were sobs. tears clouded my vision and before i knew it, family, relatives and friends were already there comforting us and saying their prayers. i went over her bed and kissed her but she was already hard and cold. that was my last kiss to one of the most beautiful women i came to know.
i really wanted to write a tribute for her. but i feel like i lack knowledge to be able to tell all of her goodness. and besides, you can't sum up a life in 3,000 characters or more, and i'm not even gonna try. this isn't for her, this is for me. i was hoping that maybe, if i sit and right down that one painful episode i can have some clarity and acceptance. earlier when we were praying on her grave, i realized that the pain is still there and i had to work really hard to keep the tears from falling. right now it's still all muddled and confusing, but i'm trying, Lola, i'm really, really trying.