Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Grandpa

Today, we laid my last grandparent to rest. My Grandpa, who everyone fondly called Lolo, was reunited with my Lola (Grandma) on her birthday.

The last years of  Lolo involved countless trips to the hospital. It started with eyesight problems. He developed problems in his digestive system. Later, his excretory system was affected. He underwent a sensitive operation two years ago. He recovered only to suffer from stroke last year. We celebrated his 93rd birthday last November and the past months meant seeing him deteriorate. Though we live in the same city, I rarely see my Lolo. It was my cousins, uncles and aunties who ensured his safety and comfort.

Last Thursday, I fell asleep in our living room after a long day at work. Around 10 pm, my phone has been receiving endless calls and text messages. My cousins were looking for my Dad. Lolo was at his worst stage. The entire family spent the last hours of the day until Lolo held his last breath. It was a painful moment for the family. But in my heart, it will always be one of the most heart warming experiences with my family. 


After the funeral, we went home together. We rode Lolo’s jeepney and just like that, we felt happy and sentimental. That jeepney was Lolo’s main source of income. It financed his medical expenses and looking back, it also served as our playground. It was Lolo’s means to spoil the desires of his grandchildren. We made road trips, watched cycling races, went to family events riding Lolo’s most treasured jeepney.

Unlike most of my cousins, it was hard for me to cry. Not that I don't feel affected or  I’m suppressing my emotions. My Lolo will always have a special place in my heart. I will always remember the time when me and my cousins entered a large supermarket.  Lolo allowed us to get anything we wanted in the chips and candies section. In 1992, he gave me Php 2,000 to open a bank account. At that time, I was a kid, who wanted to act like an adult, with her own savings passbook account. When my classes was scheduled in the afternoon, it was Lolo’s school bus who took me to school. And recently, I remembered how Lolo contributed in shaping the state of my career and work life.  Every Sunday, Lolo would buy a copy of the Manila Bulletin. In the evening, I would take home the classified ads section. At the time when BPOs dominated the job market, I noticed a job vacancy in the Research Department of an old school in Manila. I sent my application and the rest is history. Thirteen years passed, I’m still with the same company albeit in another office and position.

In times like this, much of myself is overpowered with fear. I don’t know if I can handle sickness and death within my family, my parents and lone special brother. With my Lolo, I have responsible cousins who took charge of everything. Whenever someone close to my heart suffers from sickness and death, part of me feels so frightened and nervous. Will I be able to handle everything? Being the family’s bread winner, the entire fate and future of my family is on my hands.

While my heart weeps for Lolo, I’m eaten by my own anxiety. Maybe this would last for several days. But once my real life (work and grown up concerns) starts to settle, everything will go away. I hope so….

To my dearest Lolo in heaven, thank you for everything you’ve done for the family. Thank you for the endless love and support to all your grandchildren. I will miss you dearly, family reunions will never be the same again. Please pray for me and the entire family. Help me forget all my fears, worries and guide me in every endeavor I undertake.

14 comments

  1. My condolences to the whole family, Diane.

    That is also my fear---Death, but it's inevitable. Let's just enjoy life one day at time.

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  2. Condolence. The pain never goes away. But I'm sure the happier memories will help you remember the best days with him. I'm sure he is happy where he is now. And im sure proud sya sa attempts mo in adulting ;-)

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  3. Oh sweet Diane this is a beautiful remembrance of your Lolo and all the good things he brought into your life, including how his newspaper led to your job. As they say, that was the beginning and the rest is history. I have plenty of fear and anxiety too, and Jesus says often in the Bible "do not fear" since he knows us. Thanks for your 3 recent postcards, they are lovely.

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  4. This made me cry. You had such beautiful memories with your lolo. Do not worry about your fears. I'm plagued by the same thoughts too, especially after what happened to my brother. At least you have a strong support system with your relatives.:) Pero kakayanin natin to. We will not let it overwhelm us. Hehe.

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  5. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Diane. This made those memories when my father got sick and died all came back to me. It was a traumatic experience, seeing him so strong and looking invincible then suddenly got sick and his body deteriorated and died. It's been four years now. The pain never went away, I only forget it when I am occupied with adult things. But the whole experience made me and my family closer. It taught me a lot of lessons in life. Your grandfather seemed to live a very good life, you've been blessed having him.

    My condolences again.

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    1. Thank you Claire. I share the same thoughts. I appreciate your words.

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  6. This is so heart warming, Diane. Your lolo must be so proud of having a granddaughter like you. The fears you have are normal, most if not all of us have the same fears. I think we will never be prepared when such things happen, but be strong. You have your family, friends and loved ones. They will be your anchor in difficult times. Praying for you!

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  7. Oh Lord! we have the same situation right now. My Lolo passed away yesterday... It's so painful but the thought of him that he is now pain-free and reunited with my Lola makes it a bit lighter. Cndolence...

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    1. Hi Donna! Thank you and condolences to your family as well.

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