My grandmother (a.k.a. Lola in Tagalog) has always been my companion most of the time. In fact, she has always been there for me the moment I came out from my mother’s womb. Yes! I’m a certified Lola’s girl. I fondly call my Lola, Nanang (Ilocano word which means mother). Growing up, I remember, she’d always sleep beside me at night to help me get a sound sleep and drive the “monsters” away.
I used to tag along wherever she went… whether attending a church service, visiting a relative or even going to the market. Attending the Holy Week commemoration at the church was one of the interesting things that we have done. The church was jampacked and I was sweating profusely and getting irritated. Nonetheless, Nanang’s soothing words made me behave. :p
After the service, she led me towards the statues and she prayed and wiped the figure with her handkerchief. As they say, “monkey see monkey do”, with my handkerchief, I also touched the feet of the “sleeping Jesus Christ” with an impish grin on my face. That was priceless!
When my mother passed away when I was 13 years old, we were very apprehensive on how to inform Nanang… she did take it badly. Nanang went to stay with her other daughter after my mother was buried.
I thought all is well.
When I went there for a surprise visit, I cannot seem to take what I saw. Nanang was very weak and she was lying in a cramp area which looked like a storage room and she didn’t even have a comfortable bed. My heart seemed to explode at that time. I couldn’t stop crying when I was at Nanang’s “bedside”. I wanted to shout but restrained myself because I might utter words that can worsen and complicate the situation.
I was silent when I went home but I knew that my relatives felt that I was furious! >_< I was close with my Aunt when I was a kid but when I saw how she treated Nanang in her house, I felt numb and can’t seem to bring back that warm relationship that my Aunt and I used to have.
I’ve been harboring this feeling for more than 15 years now. I’m glad I’ve finally let it out. Nanang, thank you for taking care of me and treating me as your little Princess. You will always be in my heart. I love you so much! :* I’m sorry if was not that strong enough back then to protect you.
I know you are happy wherever you are now. I missed you Nanang. So long! :*