If everything would have been good, I should have been in the Netherlands today celebrating my 2 more weeks before our family’s vacation to the Philippines. If it had been okay, then I am sure that I would have started counting backwards 2 or 3 hours from now.
But instead, I am sitting here, typing my way in my laptop and listening to one of our neighbor’s radio blasting Christmas Carols since 6am (12 midnight CET).
I miss my Lola Cion. And because of this 40 days tradition after her 9th day of death, I would not be able to go and visit her, or offer her flowers at the cemetery before I leave.
But I am always praying for her.
The Christmas Song that I am listening to right now sends a warm nostalgia to my inner being: I was brought back to the days when I was still a little girl.
Back then, celebrating December 24’s with only my Lola Cion and I were ones of the happiest that I had ever experienced. She would let me watch movies in the television until I cannot stand being awake no more. She would ask me to go and check the sock (I used my father’s military sock back then to make sure that I get a lot from Santa!!) and see if Santa Claus already passed by while I was watching television at the living room. (The sock was dutifully placed at the kitchen as she said that Santa would not fit at the Living Room door.) We do not have chimneys in the Philippines.
I used to be my grandmother’s pet grandchild. I was the eldest (as I have also already started in my Eulogy, previous post).
I have worked double the hard because of my Lola Cion. I never wanted to fail her. She and Lolo Mario. They were my everything. And my sister of course. I had to leave and work miles away to support them, and at the end, support myself. Through the years, and through all this time, I have gained this complex thinking that I can do more, that I can be more, and that I have the power to change myself, and the world surrounding me.
When my flight landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on August 20 midnight, I was in tears: I was happy that, finally, Philippines again; I was sad, because, I left my small family back in the Netherlands; I was lonely, because, my grandmother was gone; I was glad, because, I will see my baby sister who I was not with for a long time.
If everything should have been normal, then in a couple of hours time, I would have started counting backwards to our family’s grand vacation to the Philippines.
I am still counting backwards now. Counting the days until I see my Armand and our Princess Zoë again.
I can just pray that my sister Angeline be as independent, reliable, smart and strong – as always.#