Filipino guy in Los Angeles, talking about his daily blah, reality tv, world events... a little bit of everything

Thursday, March 16, 2006

25


I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to celebrate my birthday this year. I didnt want to bother plan things out but I finally told myself that it would be a good reason to get together with some of my closest friends. So the past few days, I've been busy trying to organize something. Im also going to get to do something quite exciting (although not as exciting as my backpacking trip last year), The Boyfriend and I are going to go bungee jumping from this unused bridge in the Angeles National Forest. Its an all day hike to this "bridge to nowhere" and we get to have a picnic for lunch right after we jump off the bridge (I just wanted to type that coz its soo insane...its soo not me!!! I'm the Asian gay guy version of Bree Van De Kamp...what the hell am I doing jumping off a bridge?!?!?! Anyway, I knew that its going to be a great weekend to celebrate the first quarter century of my life....until I talked to my sister tonight.

Our conversation was something like this: (this is translated from Tagalog)

Me: "So whats up? You left me a message two days ago but I couldnt get hold of you".
Ate Anne: "I just got home?"
Me: "From work? Thats kinda late (I called her 11:30 P.M. East coast time)."
AA: "No from the hospital?"
Me: "What happened?"
AA: "Its J. (one of her roomates, the husband of her bestfriend)....he's dead."

At this point I was just in complete shock...I've never met J. but it seems like I know him from my sister's stories. She then proceeded to tell me exactly what happened... the entire time, I was shaking...he died from a stroke. He was only 28, married for only a year, just getting ready to start his life with his new wife, a great career (he's a physical therapist but he went to medical school in the Philippines). Now its all gone....

I talked to The Boyfriend afterwards, told him the story, but I could not stop myself from getting so emotional. "Why am I crying? I've never met this person before." I knew exactly why (even The Boyfriend realized it and mentioned it). J.'s death is eerily similar to my Mom's, and at the eve of my birthday, I couldnt help but think about my mom. Twenty five years ago, my mother gave me the best gift of all...the gift of life. Although its been a decade since she passed away, my memories of her are as clear as if it just happened yesterday...especially the small details.

I remember her Sunday routine. She would turn on the tv to watch her favorite soap opera and at the same time iron our school uniforms for the coming week.

I remember how she would spend hours on her sewing machine making clothes for us.

I remember the distinct taste of her cooking and the smell of her hair.

I remember how generous she is, teaching practical skills to other women in our community such as sewing and baking and her volunteer work both in my school and local health center (cooking for the needy).

I remember the fear in her eyes when someone robbed our house

I remember the strength and bravery she exemplified when we had to evacuate our house because of volcanic eruption.

I remember her odd sense of fashion with those Dynasty-esque shoulder pads, and large patterns to compensate for her petite stature.

I remember her business savvy; our little piglet farm and how she managed several properties.

I remember her crying when the Pope came to visit the Philippines and how she cried and grieved when grandma died.

I remember our weekly trips to the market. I hated it then, getting dragged out of bed every Saturday morning. Now, I see it as OUR time together. I was always a Mama's boy. I remember that she would always get the stinkiest fish paste in the market.

Lastly, I remember how she loved us, unconditionaly. She always put us first no matter what happened. I remember when I went home that one day, and she wasnt there anymore....

I love you Mom.....I miss you a lot. I wish I was able to tell you that. Thank you for everything.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss her too!! 11 years! but i'm till not ready to accept dat she gone! She always keep it eyes on us! watever we do or watever we say!! She know how much we love her n miss her n how we thank her for everything.

lil sis!

7:22 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

u know wat i'm reading dis again n make me cry again! n remembering how much i missed all her cook and everything! do u remember how she cooked da Pizza in da small pandesal! Oh! how missed dat!!

lil sis

5:18 PM

 

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