The Month of the Heart of Winter

the new leaf of January is my Month!

All Saint’s Day 2012

We were home last week to observe All Saint’s Day and as customary we visited our departed love ones at the memorial park. My maternal family was all present like last year, well except for those based abroad.

During our stay at the graveyard I can’t help but recall how my Ina and Ninang Elo battled both their sickness for years. Even before Ninang Elo was detected with her big C, Ina was already in poor health because of her frail legs, she had problems moving her legs the reason why she needed someone to watch over her when everyone is at work. But despite her illness she remained a happy person and someone with a great mind. She never had any history of Alzheimer’s despite her age, she’s remembers even the smallest detail of anything. And like other old people, she loves to tell stories of us, how we were during our childhood days. I suddenly miss her last days at our house when she was under my Nanay’s care. There’s this one time when she was watching TV with us, you know I’m not a GMA-7 fan so I have no idea of the show Pepito Manaloto. I’m surprised that she had recall of the show and she summed up the whole story for me.

With my Ninang Elo’s case, it was different. She was down with her big C but remained strong for her family. She underwent two major surgeries and after every cut she’s like any normal being. My memory of her would be too many to recall because she’s been a second mother to me. There were things I could only speak to her because I know she empathize with me. I miss her; I miss her being strict and obsessive. She would forever be my icon of strength.

Now, let me speak of these two –Nanay and Tita Gie. If there are people who deserve an award or recognition I can only name Nanay and Tita Gie amongst. Even before Ina was living in Alulod, Nanay would regularly visit her to feed and bathe her while everyone is away. She would spend time with the matriarch even if she runs her own household. Probably it’s a daughter instinct to take care of her old parents. When Ina requested that she be transferred to our house in 2010, Nanay was hands on to her despite the old lady’s childish habits. And Nanay never forgot Ina’s birthday and Christmases’ too, she ensures to visit Ina during those occasions. When Ninang Elo got really sick she was there to hand a hand. She’s the one to go at the hospital and watch overnight during my Ninang’s operations, she’s the one who goes with her during the chemo sessions and during her really bad days; she was there at the side to give comfort and loving care. Nanay had never left Ninang Elo especially her last days. She’s the sister I would long to have if the same fate would happen to me.

Tita Gie maybe the youngest of their brood but she’s easy to connect because of her carefree disposition. I grew up with her and I know how close she was to our Ama but when Ama passed away and Ina got sick she would spend weekends at Ina’s house to look after her. She would fix Ina’s room whenever she’s there and ensure she would eat on time. Tita Gie most likely had got too many lectures from Ninang Elo when the latter was still in good health. Aside from it probably there were plenty of rejection too but when Ninang Elo got sick she didn’t count those harsh days. She readily gave her time, her strength to the oldest sister. She would voluntarily watch Ninang Elo during that night-less sleeps when Ninang Elo was in pain. Tita Gie is someone to count on and I can attest to that.

At the loss of two great women in our life, there remain another two who remained selfless. Nanay never forget any occasion to visit The Romans and offered candles and prayer for Ina and Ninang Elo. She would never miss to offer mass because it remains an obligation for her. She ensures that the resting place of her mother and sister would be spotless for the occasion and she sees to it that the family would have something to munch on every November 1. I prayed for her long life so she may continue her good deeds.

And Tita Gie you remain to be my favorite aunt. 🙂



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