When I came to Umingan, my dear little hometown, on Easter for my mother's 8th death anniversary, I thought that would be it. I had not planned on coming back anytime soon.
But just one month later, here I am again.
This time, for another very important event—to welcome back the remains of mom's best friend and younger sister, my Auntie Pat.
Four year's ago, Auntie Pat (who had Alzheimer's) was brought to the US by her children who reside there. They wanted to be with her and take care of their mom themselves.
Waiting in line for a doctor, which takes forever, is reading time, writing time, or when the clinic is in a mall, window-shopping time.
So I walk about, looking at display windows, with no interest whatsoever in buying anything. Then from a few meters away, it catches my eye. Amidst the shelves and shelves of rubber shoes, it beckons me, “Come closer.”
Two of my most respected writers, Chitang Nakpil ("Mother's Day is for sissies.") and Rina Jimenez-David ("Unless my children make an effort, Mother’s Day passes like any other weekend."), do not go gaga over Mother's Day as many people do.
Reading their articles on this event that is celebrated almost worldwide, I heave a sigh of relief. I am in good company.
I have lived with males all my married life and so I march to a different drummer. The oldest male is a dyed-in-the wool adman, who creates and hypes up interest for special days, so he is cynical about occasions like Mother's Day or Valentine's Day.
This morning I threw away a can of pineapple juice and a bottle of Ventolin Expectorant. They're both way past their shelf life or "Best before" date.
Shelf life . . . I've been deeply thinking about it the last few days as I begin to write my next book on, guess what, retirement.
This site's server took down all posts of all bloggers from May 11 to May 13 for maintenance work.
My last blog, "Angie's Silence and the RH Bill" (below) was off the page for one and a half days. Now it's back, but I lost all your comments!
Sob, sob. I know technology has its pitfalls, but grace abounds and enables us to re-bound.
Thank you for visiting again, despite the hiccup.
Angie, portly at 36, lives in the slums, and is a workaholic. She is in perpetual motion, sometimes forgetting to breathe, but never forgetting to smile.
What a joy to have her at home! She comes in before breakfast and leaves after supper, three times a week, to help Ate Vi with the household chores.
"Angie, come sit down for some chat," I called out one day to give her a break from the umpteenth job she was doing.
She refused to sit down. She just stood there smiling while I asked her questions. "I am not trying to pry, I just want to get to know you a little better."
She talked as she worked, non-stop. She has four children, three are with her mom in the province; only Neneng, 10, the youngest, is with her in Manila. With her income from houskeeping, she could only afford to keep one child with her.
Her husband, whom she had to marry at age 17 because she was pregnant, left her for good after Neneng was born. “He has had so many girlfriends,” she revealed. Before his final exit, "He kept leaving for months on end, living in with his flavor of the month.”
Since she was being candid, I was emboldened to ask, "So why do you have four children if he's been cheating on you since day one?"
“Where are you going?” he asks.
“To Makati,” I reply.
“Where in Makati?” he pushes.
"What will you do there?” he probes.
“Have lunch with my old friends from my old office,” I say.
“What time are you coming home?”
“Before five PM,” I estimate.
“Okay, please make sure you're home by five.”
In my youth I was in love with David, the young, handsome shepherd who slew Goliath, the much-feared giant warrior. Michelangelo’s sculpture was how I saw his face.
Well, the description of David in 1 Samuel 16:12 (KJV) is thus: “. . . Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.”