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Monday, January 19, 2004

i took one day off on a sunday to be able to relax and enjoy myself with my family. my two boys were both present at the house and my niece and nephew and their two year old son. i told my wife since this is the time of family to call her mother and her brother on the other house and have dinner with us.

i have prepared simple meals. we had plenty of salmon head and lots of spinach. so I had the fish boil in tamarind base soup and i prepared the boolgogi on the table--using the korean boolgogo griller. it was one hell of a dinner....espedially everybody is enjoying eating, and i was the one grilling all of the time. my two boys had fun of course and the rest of the clan.

after dinner while taking small bites on fresh pineapple that i just opened up--- my wife told me to call back home and say hello to everybody back home. i got hold of my eldest sister first--we talked for at least an hour and she told us all about our parents. in details --she was trying to describe what is happening with our mother and tatay.

i am coming home again this 02february to see them.

mother is already in the state of alzheimers-- at the age of 79 going 80 this june 29. tatay is already 82 this year and had a quadruple bypass three years ago at the heart center under the care and meticulous hands of Dr. Recto.

i talked to my parents after wards and asked them about their health and status. both of them can no longer travel and visit their children in the states and canada. tatay cannot endure the long distance travel inside a plane with recycled air and elevation. mother likewise cannot travel since she had two surgery of the pelvic bone and one hip bone sugery-- plus now the alzheimers.

talking to my mother brought me to so many sad things in the life of my mother. at the age of 18--she lost her faher during the 2nd world war and was the eldest among the 8 children including herself. my lola had deleagated my mom to be the father of the family--while lola pacing works to sustain all her children. my lola was telling me stories during the evacuation toward the paco church so that they could hide. the americans was just two blocks away--when my mothers youngest sister asked for something to eat. since they were in their back yard shelter--- my lolo has to go infront of the house where the rice container was buried. while scooping the rice to be boiled --- a japanese soldier who was running away from the oncoming americans--stab my lolo at the back twice --infront of my lola and mother. freedom was just two blocks away. my mother was married at the age of 17 and my tatay was 18. tatay went to war as an american scout. he was to defend Bataan. thus begins my mothers saga of taking care of her first born child and the rest of her siblings. as far as i could remember---mother was always in the batya from 7am to noon time to take care of me and my sisters for school. this was the routine of my mothers life. caring for her own family and her siblings--while my lola earns a living for the whole family on a by and sell basis.mother was a very spartan woman--- a strict disciplinarian for both her own children and her siblings. tatay was driving the passenger jeepney. until the death of my lola--mother was always the 2nd pillar of the whole family after my tatay in our family and after my lola in my mothers sibling family. when we have grown and settled down--- mother was always and still the matriachal image of the family. now that the family was able to established a business and company founded in 1974-- mother has to just sit-- relax and enjoy herself with her great grandchildren. but last year---came the bitter news that she was in her first stage of Alzheimers. and now it had gotten worst. i cannot accept it---this woman who was so strong and have a great will power--- now in Limbo and at times at a lost on the things around her. i just talked to her this evening and she was at a distance--- in her own place at her own time. she tells snatches of stories on the phone and will hand it over immediately either to tatay or to anybody besides her. this outspoken woman--- is now becoming a silent bystander in a world of her owni cannot accept it--- after talking to both of them i went down to my basement and did the laundry until 12 midnite--- i dont care what the neighbors will say if they see the smoke coming out the laundry shute for the dryer. i want to remove the feeling inside me.... i dont want to pity my mom--- i want to recall the happy times we all have togetheri want to listen to all the laughters and the jokes---- i want to hear again the many nice thoughts of our friends about my mother----i want to be able strike a conversation with my mother and have a good response---- i want my mother to be whole again--- like nothing is happening.....i want to be a little boy again in the hands of my mother-- given a bath before school and being greeted back when i return from school.

oh God --- is that so hard to ASK FROM YOU.

i have spoken with tatay--- this soldier man--this father of eight and this friend of everybody has now become slow and at times hard to comprehend things. he was a soldier---tortured by the japanese--- survived the death march and was able to raise eight children. tatay does not want his medals during the war be framed and hanged. i took the initiative to frame it and hang it on the wall of their house. i want everybody to see my tatay's achievement---the sufferings that he has to endure for the Love of Freedom and Country tatay has a Special Medal for being a Sharp Shooter and the Special Medal of Honor and Survivor of the Death March. .here is a man--- who was so quiet--- a man of small talk and humility inside him--strong on all his convictions and dispositions, but as i was talking to him this evening--- he lost his ability to remember simple things and even simple events in his life and surroundings. he lost his stamina--- he lost his ability to play music and sing in his karaoke components--- he lost his shining voice--his authoritative command infront of anybody. he is now 82-and i dont want to give up my tatay. i was there when he had his quadruple bypass. he was a strongman--- he was my idol--- he was my tatay.

why do we have to be separated from each other?. why do we have to endure the distance?. why cant we not be the same again and all be merry? am i asking too much to my God? will i be spared of hearing that something happened to one of my special people in my life----MY IDOL AND THE EXTENSION OF MY LIFE. THE TREE THAT SUPPORTED US AND SHADE US TO WHERE WE ALL ARE RIGHT NOW.

i am now in the apex and forefront of my life---- i felt like a little boy who does not want to be left behind by his parents. i still want to be the little boy who wants.........I WILL NOT SAY IT


posted by infraternam meam @ 3:56 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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