Thursday, November 5, 2009

Papa


“Xtian, saan kapatid mo? Si Dino*,” Lolo asked me.


“Wala po e, bakit po ba?,” I asked him back.


“Gusto ko sana magbanyo,” he replied as he look away from me.


>oo0oo<

I am the eldest grandson on my mother’s side. It’s no secret that I had become the favorite among cousins. I am close to my mother’s parents, and her kuya. They adore me so much and I love them too. It was really nice to be the first born. It is, really.


I almost grew up on my grandparents’ house. My mom and dad were so young when they had me and got married so they don’t have enough money yet to buy their own house. Growing up with my grandparents make me feel more love and secure. Having two set of parents is the best experience there is plus an uncle for a kuya is more than I can ever wish for. Then one day, my parents were able to build our own home.


My Lola had a brain tumor. My Lolo had to bring her to Manila for operation. After the operation my Lola came back differently. She seemed not to recognize most of us at times. She would wake up at the middle of the night talking about the past. Mostly of happy memories, that was good so that she could escape the pain even for a moment. Sometimes I can’t help but cry when I see her in pain.


Then my brother Dino’s birthday came, we’re celebrating when a friend came to the party and told my tita that my grandmother already left us. We we’re all shocked. Then my tita became hysterical. It took me a while before the reality sunk in, that my beloved lola was already gone. I cried.


Days before my Lola left us, I came to visit her. She was peeling avocado, then cut it in pieces and handed it to me. She told me to dip it in sugar before eating it. I did what I was told, just like when I was small. She always prepares my food. I love her so much.


I was told that my lola have chosen to die on my brother Dino’s birthday because Dino was her favorite. I thought I was, but it was my brother after all.


After months of my lola’s death. The friend who came to my brother’s birthday came to my lola’s house again, this time to inform us that my mother’s kuya had an accident. That he was killed. Another death in the family, my Lolo took it so hard.


Kuya Dan* was well loved - by his family, friends and my dad. Kuya Dan was my dad’s best friend. It was he who introduced him to mom. I was close to him, he was my kuya.


Due to my Lola and kuya Dan’s death, old habits came hunting my back my Lolo. He would drink for days and he changed drastically. He wanted to remarry – a girl 2 or 3 years senior than me. His children disagreed so the marriage never materialized.


It was summer, semester break, my tita called my mom. She was crying. We were having our breakfast when mom told us to go to the hospital. Mom told us that lolo had a stroke and was taken to the hospital.


In the hospital, Lolo was in a poor state. It seemed that he aged so fast, thinner and weak. Since I had no classes, I was assigned to look for him. Like any grand child, I obliged to look after my Lolo. It was against my will (it was summer was supposed to relax and enjoy my vacation).


Since it was against my will to look for him, I didn’t cooperate that much. I would watch TV all day instead of taking care of him. When he needs to go I would put bed pan instead of assisting him to go to the bathroom even if he complains that it hurts his back so much. Then I would call the nurses to clean him instead of me doing it. I almost completely ignore his pleas and pains.


There was one time when my Lolo fell off the bed because he wanted to go to the bathroom. Maybe too tired of asking for my help to no avail, he wanted to do it by himself. I even scolded him.


You see, I was young then and it was not an excuse. Instead of helping him and making sure he feels comfortable I did otherwise. I was his favorite but what did I repay him? By making his life more miserable. So much more had happen during my stay there at the hospital. I was waiting for an opportunity to get away from that.


The opportunity came when my dad’s brother ask me to accompany him to climb a mountain. I agreed without even blinking an eye. I left Lolo the next day and join my uncle braving the bad weather to climb a mountain to escape the burden that was my Lolo.


>oo0oo<

It was a school day when my mom called me up.


“Hi Xtian, wala na si papa,” my mom informed me over the phone.


I was speechless for a moment there and my tears came flooding profusely. I don’t know what pains me more, my lolo’s death or the guilt that I was carrying from the moment I decided to take the climb instead of taking care of him.


I was in pain, full of guilt, longing and so sorry. The thing is, the day after I left the hospital, I wanted to go back and tell my lolo that I was sorry. But it was my pride that is at stake so I never did.


Now it’s too late. I can no longer take back what I’ve said and done in the hospital. I can no longer take care of him to pay for what I did to him. How ungrateful I was. I can never forgive myself. That no matter how I’ll explain to myself, wala, what I did was wrong.


I came back home to the province. On my way, I was holding back my tears, my emotions. Upon seeing my Lolo’s humble abode, I can no longer hold it. I let the tears fell and unleash all the emotions that I was holding up a while ago. I know that no matter how many tears I will shed or no matter how many times I’ll say sorry. My lolo can no longer see it, can no longer hear me. I can no longer feel his warm embrace like when I was little.


It was all too late.


>oo0oo<

Dreamscape and nightmares were all the same for me, hunting me. There were times that kuya Dan, lolo and lola would want me to join them. There were time when see my lolo in my dreams. Then I would always wake up in tears. Sobbing my guilt away hoping it would go away when I open my eyes but it did not.


>oo0oo<

“Anak, when I grow old don’t bother tending me ha. Ipadala mo na lang ako sa home for the aged,” my mom told me one fine day.


Then it starts to rain.


>oo0oo<

It was the last day of school. I will be graduating on top of our care giving class.


That night I dreamt. My lolo finally bid goodbye.


I woke up crying for the same dream for the last time in 9 years.


I called my mom up. It was against my dad and mom for me to enroll in a care giving class. Without them knowing, after office I would attend care giving class. I explained myself.


“Mom, today I graduated the care giving class. I know it was against you and dad for me to attend that but I had my reasons.


You see I was so guilty when papa died. I make it hard for him during his stay in the hospital. Then he died without me telling how sorry I was. I was thinking way back then that I would repay him after the school ends but he left us so soon. It has been hunting me since papa pass away.”


There’s no way for me to say sorry to him now. So to tell him how sorry I was; I enrolled in a care giving school. It was the last thing in my mind too but I brave myself and was able to finish it.”


Then he visit me last night, it was a dream but felt so real. He finally smiled and said goodbye.”


I guess tama lang ang ginawa ko. I think he finally forgave me. I finally had forgiven myself.”


That when you grow old, I would be able to take good care of you.”


Xoxo


The Curious Cat

*Not their real names to hide true identity.
P.S. Image is courtesy of http://gallery.photo.net/photo/5770033-lg.jpg

23 comments:

  1. it's interesting how baggage from the past can be a powerful motivator in one's present actions. In turn, these actions eventually affect the outcome of the future.

    thanks for the share, xtian.

    *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks ternie, pasensya at para lagi nobela mga entries ko hindi nga lang pang DC lol

    ReplyDelete
  3. xtian: asus, you can write anything you want kasi personal space mo to ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. haha thanks pre, oh thanks din sa *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  5. death is not new to me...just this year, we lost two family members...

    and i know how you feel...i know...

    ReplyDelete
  6. @the Geek sorry to hear that man
    it's truly painful, it took me so long to finally accept it and be able to write it down today

    ReplyDelete
  7. yes, it's really nice to be the first born. :)

    my lolo died when i was 13. my lola died before graduation. and i'm the lola's boy.

    isa rin yun sa mga bagay na pinagsisisihan ko. nung nasa deathbed na sya, nung unti unti na syang bumibigay, nakatutok ako sa thesis ko. hindi ko lang man sya mabisita sa hospital kasi puro deadlines and submission ng documentation. palagi nga daw nyang nirerequest na pumunta ako kasi favorite nya ako pero baka malungkot lang kasi ako eh at mawalan ng focus sa thesis pag nakita ko sya, baka di ko kayanin, sabi ko nga, sana mahintay nya yung diploma ko, kasi malapit na ako matapos. gusto ko, yun yung reason ko para bisitahin sya, pakita ko diploma ko para matuwa sya, pero di nya na inabutan. nakagraduate ako after 2 weeks. sabi ko na lang sa sarili ko, she would've wanted it that way. and i've said my apologies while she was being lowered into the ground.

    now, she still lives in my memory. as this sweet lady who loved me for all that i am. and i miss her terribly. naala ko sya tuloy sa post na to.

    teka, haba na ng comment na to, hahaha.

    going back to your post, nice. your mom could rest assure now that she would be taken care of when she gets old. that's sweet. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Maxwell ganun talaga siguro, ewan ko ba pwede masakit dba? at least now hindi na sila in pain and they are happy na sa heaven.

    thanks din sa pagkwento, it makes me feel na may karamay ako, salamat talaga pre.

    I'll do my best to take good care of mom.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ramdam ko ang pait men.

    Yeah, the dearly departed usually speak to us in dreams. Would you believe dad and I made our peace in one of my lucid moments?

    This entry serves as your final liberation from your burden. Your lolo gained his earthly immortality.

    (hugs)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for the very moving post, xtian.

    Masarap talagang maging panganay. Guaranteed favorite ka, with all the perks that come with being the fair-haired boy.

    On the flip side, much is also expected of you. Like you, I basically grew up in my grandparents' house so there were plenty of other people to take care of them once old age took its toll.

    Your post makes me think how I'll cross that bridge when the time comes that my parents need tlc as age catches up with them, too. If I so choose, madali ko isangkalan sa mga kapatid ko yun. My sister is a nurse and conveniently single, so pera lang naman ang katapat niyan.

    And yet - money seems like cold comfort, doesn't it? My folks have pretty much let me live my own life and make little demands on my personal appearances. But from the infrequent updates I get from my sister, I'm aware they're not getting any younger.

    It's just a bridge I don't want to cross, but that bridge isn't very far.

    ReplyDelete
  11. i guess i'm lucky that i haven't experienced a loved one taken away from us. i feel you xtian. i like this side of you =)

    ReplyDelete
  12. kuya xtian, hugs...uy, may itatanong sana ako sa iyo, something personal...pwede ko po ba hingin email add mo?!medyo personal po kasi kaya idadaan ko na lang sa email sana..hope you're okay

    as much as i want to say feel the emotions, sorry ha, siguro manhid lang ako pagdating sa usaping pamilya

    kaya i'd rather say, i understand your post.

    erick_frago@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. kasabihan ng mga matatanda, ang pagsisisi ay palaging nasa huli.

    subalit sa puntong ito, nahuli man ang pagsisisi,tiyak na naging bukal pa rin iyon mula sa puso.

    dahil sa bandang huli, nagiwan ito ng mabuting aral sa iyong pagkatao

    ReplyDelete
  14. @Galen I think it (dreams) is the only way they can communicate with us. I'd like to believe that. I'm glad that you'd made peace with your dad Galen. It's liberating, knowing that finally everyone's at peace na.

    Thanks for the hugs Galen, appreciate it a lot

    ReplyDelete
  15. @Rudeboy you're welcome pre.

    It's up to you to decide in time, I just hope that everyone of us will be given the chance to do our part before death will claim our love ones.

    I realized that we don't need to wait for the "right" time, we have to make everytime special in our own way because we really don't hold the future.

    ReplyDelete
  16. @Period no matter what they're still family, sana magka-ayos na kayo at mawala na ang tampo sa puso mo, kapuso ka pa naman :)

    sige, I'll e-mail you

    ReplyDelete
  17. hi. blog hopped into ur post and as i read this one, a free flowing watever run thru my eyes..tlgang "nasa huli ang pagsisisi.." but wats more important is u accepted every challenges given to u and ur able 2 (finally) have a heart dat feels.. love this post..is dis ur tru 2 lyf s2ry? :wink:

    ReplyDelete
  18. @spagetisows yes everything here is about me, a revelation that I could only share here. Thanks for the read.

    ReplyDelete
  19. dito ko lagay comment ko para di madami makabasa...

    contact ko is jao_224@yahoo.com

    =)

    ReplyDelete