Tuesday, November 02, 2004

remembering them

all saints' day or all souls' day wasn't really such an event for our family because we only have a few close relatives who have passed away. although we visit the cemeteries and pray for them, that was it. no nostalgia whatsoever because i didn't know our dead that much. the holidays would only affect me and my brother in the sense that we are more wary of the ghastly elements all around us. thanks to the halloween specials on television.

but all that has changed some 4 years ago. my lolo passed away and was finally relieved of all those pain that he has been having for so long. 3 years after after his death, my lola, his wife, joined him in eternal slumber.

undas had all the more meaning for our family ever since.

i was my lolo's favorite. i was his very first apo, and a girl at that. i grew up in their house because my mom and dad were both working then. my earliest memories of my lolo were of him in his office and a nosey little me on his lap. i would tinker with his typewriter on the desk until all the keys would lock up. hehehe. yep, i was already THAT makulit. :p

during family get togethers, the whole of our family would stay at their house. while my cousins and i play, our mothers and my lola would be in the kitchen preparing yet another feast for lunch. after the sumptuous lunch (now you know where i got those extra pounds, hehehe), our lolo would make us children sleep. all 8 of us would squeeze ourselves in on my lolo and lolo and lola's bed. and then the aircon would start to whir. we would try to sleep while our lolo watched over us, with a belt on hand. if one wouldn't sleep and would instead make kulit on his cousin beside him... WHIP goes the belt. hehehe. being the favorite that i was, i was always spared from the ouchy whips of his belt.

by 4 pm, we would wake up, eat merienda and play some more. at 6 pm, our lolo would call us again to pray our rosary. my lolo and lola are devout catholics so at an early age, my cousins and i were taught how to pray the rosary. after praying the rosary, me and my cousins would state all our intentions. common to all of us was "sana gumaling na po sina lolo at lola".

ever since i could remember, they have been suffering from heart problems and diabetes (which i have probably inherited and could manifest if i don't watch my diet). that's why while i was growing up, i've always wanted to be a doctor, so that i could cure my lolo and lola. as what i've written on the essay for the second screening for intarmed, when asked with the question, why do you want to be a doctor?, i answered exactly just that. but of course, now that i'm all grown up, and my grandparents have already passed away, my concept of "curing" not only encompassed curing my loved ones. i want to help all those people in need.

i only got to know my lola when my lolo has already passed away. by then, she was also paralyzed after a series of strokes. my mother decided that she would be living with us. my mom would always say that her parents had given them everything they needed. now that they are the ones needy, it was time for them to repay their parents.

unfortunately (or fortunately), God had other plans. after a few months of living with us, my lola spent her last day on earth. she died on the same rocking chair that my lolo was also sitting on when he died.

both of them were cremated. it was during their funerals that i cried the hardest in my entire life.

yesterday, we spent all saints' day with our relatives, at my tita's house because my grandparents' urn was kept there. it was just like our family get togethers when they were still alive but the difference now is that they're gone and everybody's grown up. we ate a delicious lunch. instead of sleeping, my cousins and i watched the punisher on dvd. after watching, we ate merienda. then it was time to pray. we prayed the rosary, as a family just how our grandparents taught us. i missed them then because they were not there to see us. that would have made them happy. but i know that they were with us, deep inside our hearts. :)

eternal rest grant unto them, o lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
may they rest in peace, amen.

No comments: