Thursday, August 16, 2012

His final lesson

Today is my lolo’s birthday. However, it’s been years since he passed away. Thirteen years to be exact.

I’m not writing this in a manner that would employ a thousand words and a pile of metaphors to deliver what I feel right now. I miss him, as simple as that. I miss him so much. I wish I could still sit on his lap. I wish I could still lay beside him during afternoon naps. I wish I could still see his face, walk with him, laugh with him.

But during moments like this when I would cry and long for his presence, I would remember his words like it was only yesterday.

You see, I was the youngest among us cousins. Because of this, they would often bully me, tease me and would not allow me join whatever games and plans they hatch. I would cry and run to my lolo. He would then chase my cousins and spank their little butts with a stick.

To more proof of my wimpy childhood, I was scared of the dark, of cockroaches, of large spiders lurking in the bathroom, lizards and crickets at night. With all these, lolo would come to my rescue. And I will finally feel safe, protected from whatever harm and forces imagined by my youth.

He never scolded me for being afraid, for being weak or wimpy. Instead, what he gently told me was this: “Dapat maging matapang ka. Hindi ako laging nandito para samahan ka. Wala ka namang dapat ikatakot. Kaya mo ‘yan.” (You have to be brave for yourself for I cannot stay here with you forever. You don’t have to be afraid.)

He’s the bravest man I know. That’s why it was always hard for me to accept that he could just leave like that. I thought because he was always the strongest in my eyes, not even death could defeat him.

Like this blog entry, there was no way to end the feeling of missing him, of wishing for more moments with him, more comforting words and memories. So allow me to end this with the excellent words of Joan Didion in her book “Year of Magical Thinking.”

“I know why we try keep the dead alive: we try to keep them alive in order to keep them with us. I also know that if we are to live ourselves, there comes a point at which we must relinquish the dead, let them go, keep them dead.”

3 reaction(s):

T.R.Aurelius said...

Awww... #brohugz... :D

you know, I envy you, my grandfather never treate dme the way yours did...mine never thought of treaing me as his grandson, he would treat my other cousins as his favorites, like I was the black sheep....but when the time came when he was becoming weak due to his age, I was the one among all of my cousins who catered to him in all his need, who aided him whenever he feel weak, or whenever he get confined...,

look up! I know your granddad also misses you... have UBE JAM caring for you as well :))

♔ıǝɹɯɐı♔ said...

My lolo died when I was 5 and the only memory I have of him was when he asked me to massage his knee. You're very lucky you got to spend time and make memories with your lolo. Some of us do not have that chance.

jonathan said...

My lolo and my lola had been instrumental to my growth as a person because they were always there, when I was neglected by my father. Like you, I missed them and will forever remember their words of wisdom, their camaraderie, and their love to me. God bless!


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