Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Love in the time of disaster

Nanay and Tatay

Their house badly damaged, my grandparents moved to safer ground camping out in a makeshift tent in a remote barrio in Maribojoc. My grandmother has never left my 92 year-old grandfather's side, who is still recovering from a stroke. She has been sleeping on a wooden plank for several nights now; and when the rain would pour in the night, she would curl up her knees to keep her feet from getting wet.

When I visited them for the first time since the earthquake, I found they were not given their relief goods because 'they could no longer vote'. 

I'm casting aside my outrage at this utter disrespect to my grandparents, senior citizens who deserve to be given utmost attention and courtesy especially at this time of need. 

 But if there's one thing I realized, it is that true love will always stand the test of time that not even the most terrible of tremors can shake, much less destroy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Remembering Mama

There's a lady in the mirror whose reflection makes her caught up in a reverie of years long past; in bittersweet musings of what could have been if she were here. That lady is a spitting image of that one great woman - her mother.

Her nostalgia of that woman who has touched hearts because she loved them all, who was there for them when they needed her and gave what she had and her best, even if she didn't have much.

She, even to this day, has seen how people still remember her mother and have so many good words to say about her.

"I knew your mother. She was a good person."

"I was once a student of your mother. She was my favorite teacher. She was very good to her students."

"Your mother was so funny. We all loved her."

"I will never forget your mother. She helped me a lot".

It fills her still with so much joy that people's thoughts of her mother didn't just stop at her passing but have become fond memories, forever etchings of gratefulness for the things that she did and made them feel.

Thirteen years since she left and yet the longing still remains. Many a time she yearns to feel the warmth of her mother's embrace; to smell her familiar scent; to hear her infectious laughter; to listen and learn from her words of wisdom. 

The strong pining for a mother's love sometimes brings back the pain of losing her too soon. But when she looks at herself in the mirror, she smiles because she knows that even when she may be physically gone, she is with her. She has never left her side. 

She smiles because she knows that even when she is no longer around, her mother's love resonates through the people who love her and the person she has become.

I love you, Mama. I will forever miss you. And for all that I am and everything I will become, I hope I make you proud.

You will always live in me.