Innang

I wrote this entry on my journal last 09/13/15 months after my grandmother died. I miss her so much already.

09/13/15

I just remembered writing earlier that if I don’t write on a daily basis, bad things will happen, and I swear it to the moon. Apparently, I failed. Did bad things happen? Maybe they did happen, but maybe I was too optimistic to notice.

I also remembered mentioning that I’ll write about my grandmother. So, I’ll write it now. The main thing I remember though, was the feeling of sadness.

The ghost of her sweet face, though wrinkled with golden age, was graced with dimples and crowned with a silver mass of hair that cascades down her shoulders. Her memory still lingers around our house. She comes here, every December, to spend Christmas with us, and sometimes, New Year too. She occassionally sits on this long, wooden chair inside our house, while smoking tabacco, and staring far away, with a misty look in her eyes. Most of time that she spent here, she seemed to be perpetually happy.

I remember her quiet laugh whenever we try to make a fool of ourselves. I remember the feel of touching her flimsy, fragile skin and its distinct smell of fresh flowers, which always reminds of Abra. We love her so much. But, underneath the veneer of pure liveliness and optimism, we knew that she was tired. Her voice sounded gentler, and softer than usual. And she couldn’t go outside. I remember telling her things like, “Innang. Labas kami. Sama ka?” or “Innang, may *something, something* sa ganito, gusto mo makita?” She had refused, every single time, because she was simply tired. I knew she would refuse, but I kept on asking anyway, maybe because there’s still that part of me that wished that she was still strong enough to stroll away and do wacky things with us in Farmers, Gateway, Alimall, Rizal Park, ICCS, just like what we used to do when my siblings and I were still so much younger.

Whenever she leaves us every year, she would always tell me in this soft, crisp voice that I would always keep in my heart, “Hay, nakkong. Sa susunod na taon na naman, pupunta na naman ako dito.” I always believed her.

I’m very thankful that I had hugged her the tightest the last time she went here. Her last words to me were, “Mag-aral ka nang mabuti nakkong. Wag na kayong mag-away lagi ng mama mo… Sa susunod na Paskwa na naman ha? Sumunod, baka iba na naman kasama ko, hindi na si Carina.” I just nodded. I remembered trying to hold back tears as I wrap my hands around her. I always hold back tears whenever she leaves, because I knew that we would be waiting again for a year for her to come back and visit us. Little did we know that there would be no need to wait. She was never coming back. She was never going to visit us for Christmas or New Year again.

One afternoon, a month later, a relative called Mama that Innang had a stroke. Since that day, Mama was sleepless. Every night, she would call our relatives at the province before sleeping. I doubt that she even slept during those hard time. She would cry most nights while talking with our relatives on the phone. It broke my heart every time I hear their conversations. It was hard for me, but the baggage was a million times heavier for Mama. We would always ask her, “Oh, musta na daw si Innang?” She would answer, “Hindi pa din daw siya makapagsalita pero dumidilat na daw. Magdasal kayo, mga anak ha?”

Mama finally went back to Abra, and then after a week or two, she had called to tell us that Innang’s already gone. I remember hiding under the covers to cry.

All of us immediately followed her to Abra upon receiving the news. Mama’s eyes were bloodshot but she welcomed us with a familiar longing that only a mother can give. At the funeral, we met relatives whom we haven’t seen for a long, long, time and also those whom we haven’t seen yet.

It was a kind of a reunion, but unlike the usual kind, we meet not to celebrate, but to grieve. The last night of the funeral was the most heart-breaking. There was a slideshow flashing our pictures with her. I had cried for what seemed like an eternity. I just can’t believe that I would never see her again. She died too soon. I wished that she could at least witness my college graduation. I wanted her to be there, because she’s one of the best people who inspires me to work harder for my dreams, and my diploma would be a gift to her. I have so much plans for the future, but it’s sad that she wouldn’t be there anymore.

7/13/2016

Hi Innang!

Sobrang miss na kita. Miss ka na naming lahat, at sigurado akong mas namimiss ka na ni mama. Ayos ba diyan sa heaven? Alam kong at peace ka na diyan at hindi ka na balisa, di tulad nung mga nararamdaman mo nung last days mo dito. Alam mo po, ang lungkot namin nung unang Paskong wala ka, pero siyempre, pinilit pa rin naming magpakasaya. Iba talaga yung Pasko pag nandito ka ee. Mas magaan yung atmosphere, mas masaya. Yung tipong, kahit may naghahabulan na ng kutsilyo sa labas, pag nandito ka kasama sa bahay, alam naming magiging OK lang ang lahat. Namimiss ko na yung paghagikhik mo kapag nag-aasaran kami ng mga kapatid ko. Namimiss ko na rin yung itsura mo kapag pinagsasabihan mo si JP haha. Kahit kasi pinagsasabihan mo na siya, di ka pa rin mukhang galit ee. Ang cute, cute mo, Innang.Namimiss ko na ring walisin yung mga naglalagas na parang kaliskis galing sa balat mo tuwing nagkakamot ka habang nakaupo ka dun sa mahabang kahoy na upuan na paborito mong lugar sa bahay. Yung tabako mo rin namimiss ko na haha. Naalala ko nakabalot pa yun sa dalawang supot ee, tapos ang daming laman. Naalala ko nung bata ako tinitignan kitang gumawa ng tabako, tapos parang nainggit ako nun, tas tinanong kita kung puwede mo kong turuan gumawa haha. Siyempre tinuruan mo ko. Pero nung tinanong kita kung pano hithitin yun, siyempre di ka na pumayag. Ilan taon na ba ako nun? 4? haha. Namimiss ko nang hawakan yung balat mo kasi ang lambot lambot. Naalala mo pa ba nung bata pa kami, tapos mga 3 yrs old nun si Macmac tas nag-away yata kami tapos ayun, nag-iiiyak siya kaya pinapatahan mo siya. Tapos habang pinapatahan mo siya, bigla ka na lang niyang kinagat sa braso, tas nagdugo? Grabe, sobrang kaba ko nun, kasi pakiramdam ko nun ako yung puno’t dulo ng lahat, kasi ako naman talaga yung pasimuno nun kaya nag-iiyak nang ganun si Macmac. Tapos nung kinagat ka niya, mas lalo ko siyang inasar nun. Asong ulol ata yung inaasar ko sa kaniya nun? Ewan ko na haha. Tapos biglang humina yung pag-iyak niya kasi si Mama sobrang nag-aalala kasi nagdudugo na talaga yung braso mo. Buti nga maliit lang yung sugat nun ee. Buti na lang OK ka. May naiwan ka pa lang jacket dito, ‘nang. yung kulay Violet? Kapag malamig, yun talaga yung sinusuot ko ee. Mas naalala kita kapag sinusuot ko iyon. Iniiwasan ko nga yung suotin lately, kasi kapag nasa bus ako, kapag naaalala kong sayo pala yun, bigla na lang akong maluluha. Buti nga may salamin ako, kaya di masyadong halata kaya walang nakakapansin. Pinaka-astig na memory ko sa ‘yo, yung nagpunta tayo sa Q.C Circle. 13 palang ata ako nun o, 14? Basta, sobrang wala pa kong muwang nun haha. Medyo malakas ka pa kasi nun ee, nakakalakad-lakad ka pa nang matagal tapos hindi ka pa madaling mapagod. Game ka nga rin makipag-picture nun samin ee. Natutuwa pa rin talaga ako hanggang ngayon dun sa wacky pics natin hehe. Buti na lang nasalba sa laptop. Naalala ko pa, pinaka-favorite mo talagang palabas sa TV yung Wowowee. Laging mo ngang inaabangan yun ee, tapos tawa kayo nang tawa nina Papa habang nanonood kayo. Na-cancel yung Wowowee kaya Eat Bulaga na yung pinapanood ni Papa, so nung bumalik ka dito ulit para mag-Christmas vacation, edi hinahanap-hanap mo pa rin yung Wowowee. Sobrang lungkot mo nun nung sinabi namin nina Papa na nacancel na nga yung Wowowee. Pero nae-entertain ka pa rin naman sa Eat Bulaga hahaha. Sobrang tawang-tawa tayo habang nanonood. Pinakacute ko naman na memory mo ay yung nandito kayo nina Uncle Paul, Anti Marivic, Ate Carina, at syempre, ang super cute na si Ayen. Yun na rin yung last tayo magkita, so malungkot din pag naalala ko pero yun yung pinakacute na memory na naiisip ko lagi. Nakakatuwa kasi kayong pagmasdan nina Ayen habang naglalaro. ‘Ba-i’ pa nga tawag ni Ayen sayo ee. Panggalatok ata yun o Pangasinan? Naiiyak din ako minsan pag naalala ko yung Ba-i kasi nung burol mo, naalala ko pa, bitbit-bitbit ni Uncle Paul si Ayen sa harap ng kabaong mo, tapos sinasabi ni Ayen, “Ayan si Ba-i? Wala na Ba-i? Tulog ba si Ba-i?” Tapos pag ilalayo na Uncle Paul si Ayen, sasabihin niya, “Babay, Ba-I. Babay, Ba-I.” Ang cute niyo pag naghaharutan kayo ni Ayen kasi sobrang wagas ng hagikhik niya pag ikaw kasama. Babalik nga sana kayo dito nung Pasko 2015 ee, kaso wala, ‘nang, ganyan ka. Iniwan mo na kami. Alam mo ba, nung nakita ko sa Facebook feed ko yung mga kakilala kong 4th year na nagsablay na at finally graduate na, ikaw yung isa mga naalala ko. Kasi lagi mong sinasabi sa ‘kin, mag-aral akong mabuti, para gumaang-gaang naman yung buhay natin, tas masuklian ko yung sobrang pagkayod ni mama para mapaaral lang kaming magkakapatid. Iniisip ko pa dati, pag grumaduate ako at nagkatrabaho at nakaipon na, bibili ako agad ng bahay at lupa, tapos kayo kayo, ikaw, Innang, Mama, Papa, yung mga kapatid ko yung titira dun. At dami kong pangarap nun para sa atin, na pwede pa namang mangyari kaso nakakalungkot na wala ka na sa larawan na pinlano ko. 3 years pa Innang, at sana di naman ako tumagal ng more than 4 years sa UP, dahil atat na atat na akong tulungan si Mama. Balak ko nga pag 3rd year, hahanap na ako agad ng trabaho kasi pwede naman daw yun basta makapasa sa Career Service Eligibility Examination. Tulungan mo ko ‘nang ah? Humihingi ako ng guidance mo, with the Lord, para ma-achieve ko goals ko para samin. ‘Para satin’ dapat ee, kung nandito ka pa. Sana mabasa mo ‘to somehow. Inspiration pa rin kita hanggang ngayon, at hinding-hindi ka mawawala sa puso’t- isip ko. Kapag nakaupo ako dito sa may wooden chair na paborito mong upuan, ramdam na ramdam ko yung presence mo. Pakiramdam ko tinitignan mo lang ako, naggagabay. Ako bahala kay Mama, ‘nang. Onting tiis na lang, di na siya maghihirap. Mahal na mahal kita Innang. Mahal na mahal ka namin. Sana mas nasabi ko ‘to nang mas maganda nung buhay ka pa. Pero sana naramdaman mo yun sa mga yakap ko. Mahal na mahal na kita, Innang ko, sagad. :* -Angel

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6 thoughts on “Innang

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  1. Hey angel! thanks for sharing about your dearly loved grandmother! We also lost our grandmother 6 years ago. Actually today is her birthday! My family live in Canada and at the time of her death, it so happen that my mom was in the Philippines for her vacation. It was so sudden that it left the rest of our family broken, mainly because my mom went there for a vacation and wanted to spend more time with her (because ever since we came here, she didn’t get the chance to go back). Also for us, we didn’t see her or any of our family in the Philippines since it would be very expensive and none of use could afford it.
    Pray that our Heavenly Father provide you peace as you go through this season of your life.
    Regards to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is very heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that your grandmother is in good hands now. 🙂 Thank you very much for taking time to read. I really appreciate it. I will include you and your family in my prayers. God bless you always! =))

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