Here is a photo of myself and Papa in Luneta. This must be 1987 (give or take a year or two) and back then, we used to go to Luneta so I could go biking. I learned to ride the bicycle without training wheels in Camp Aguinaldo, but my first experience on a bicycle was in Luneta.
Two years ago, in 2015, I was quick to declare it my year. We do that. And I learned my lesson the hard way because, 2015 wasn’t my year at all–it was far from it.
On the 22nd of February 2015, I saw my 2-yr old dog die in front of me. She was attacked by another dog and barely survived the travel back to the house. Eight months after, on the 29th of October the same year, I found myself driving through bumper-to-bumper EDSA traffic to rush to my dead father, before he’s taken to the morgue. 2015 wasn’t my year at all. And in July when we first took my father in for confinement, I should’ve known that.
But No One Expects These Things
Of course no one does. Actually, around the time when we were bringing my Papa in and out of the hospital, I remember thinking about fixing my Globe postpaid account. You see, I’ve maintained the same mobile number since College and as I was unemployed then, it was under my Papa’s name. All of our Globe accounts were under Papa’s name, but all my sisters changed account ownership a long time ago–I didn’t. Around August 2015, I remembered my Globe account and I thought to do it but I said, “What for? Are you afraid Papa’s going to be gone soon?”. So I never fixed it.
Last Christmas, a classmate of mine died if a heart attack. I remember seeing a random post on Facebook and I shook my head in disbelief, then decided to call his friend to get confirmation. He died that morning. And in the following days people from my class talked about being gone toon soon, suffering traitorous heart attacks, and the value of making healthy life choices. You see, he was always a hefty lad. After College, he lost some weight, but the autopsy revealed a blockage–so clearly some things were missed.
Regardless, no one really thought he would go that way. Not his parents, not his wife, and surely not his daughter.
I remember a few weeks before my father died, I was in the shower. I usually give him his morning meds along with breakfast and when I did that day, he looked so frail. The shower was loud enough to muffle the sound so I cried. In the next days, I would imagine scenarios of how he would leave us and many times I stopped myself. I dreaded every phonecall I got from my mom. During those days, I’d breathe a deep breath just before I say “Hello”, as if preparing for the worst.
Still, nothing could’ve prepared me for for that day. When I got THE call, I barely heard what my mom said. I screamed. I screamed so loud that nurses came rushing to me. I don’t remember putting the phone down or even telling my mom goodbye. I don’t remember even saying anything, but I remember the screaming. It is still loud today in my heart as it was that day.
I have never reblogged another post before, but when I read Teri’s entry, I wanted to write about it, right away. Please take time to read it. It’s one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve read in a long time.
I am walking my dog when it happens. The woman does not see me. The woman does not see my dog. The woman points her car my way and guns it, and when I see she doesn’t see me—doesn’t see my bright blue shirt nor my arm waving ‘hello neighbor’ in the air nor my big yellow lab standing at the side of her driveway—I dive to my right and the bumper of her car clips my hip and I tumble down and over the newly-mowed grass of her lawn and the next thing I know I’m lying there, just lying there, pushing to get up and looking at my dog looking down at me with her tail wagging, wagging wagging wagging. The dog licks my hand. We are alive, the dog seems to say. We are okay.
For the last decade I’ve been walking my dogs in a downtown…
The other day I was leisurely waiting for my next patient when this old Corrs favorite started playing. I’ve always liked The Corrs, and I still regret missing their concert when I was living in the UK, thinking I’d have another chance someday. What chance? Royal Albert Hall and you make that stupid decision to miss it?
Anyway, the heart of the lyrics of most Corrs’ songs appeal to the common woman. For me, the passion in Andrea’s pleas, speak the truest emotions of women who are in pain, in love and hopeful. So when I was in highschool and living through my puppy love dramas, Andrea was my ADELE. Andrea Corr said the words I only whispered in my head.
I don’t know how common it is in your circle, but in mine, I have balikbayans demanding a trip to Jollibee as soon as they get out of the airport. When I picked up one of my best friends before, our first stop after the airport was…well, you know. She feasted on chicken joy and burger steak–it made it her truly happy and welcomed back home. And then last month, I surprised a friend who came home a day after her birthday–and we surprised her not just with our presence, we also gave her cake and a Jollibee feast. She was so happy, I’m not sure what truly delighted her about the surprise–the FOOD or our presence. Haha.
It has nothing to do with turning a new leaf, really, but maybe so. The truth is that for a while now I’ve been going through my blog and I realized that I’ve outgrown it in so many ways. But since I’ve given it so much (since 2008) it really isn’t easy to move on. As a matter of fact, when I took a small hiatus from blogging between 2013-2015, I was in so much pain the whole time, so I went back. Writing is my only vice. I do not smoke. I only drink socially. I don’t pull tantrums. I don’t rant on social media. I don’t go on depressive, catatonic states to escape. I don’t indulge in retail therapy. I don’t binge eat. I don’t go adventure-tripping. People deal with life in their own way–and WRITING is what I do. I read somewhere once, “Writers can treat their mental illnesses everyday”, and I agree with that. I have gone through many potentially damaging chapters in my life that hardly moved me because of my capacity to release emotions through a collection of words. Well, it’s writing and the Lord, of course… I want to make that clear.