Tag Archives: goodbye

Leaving July Too Soon

Some kind of eulogy. For the things that will never be the same.

 

I was still sorting out the mess of the last two weeks as Sunday crawled away, taking with it July’s early rainshowers. I gathered dust on my fingertips and three memories — stapled, splattered, and smudged — on the page of my palm. None of it fit in the neat lines and steady piles of clutter that littered every mile of every thought that leapt to the next mark and rearranged itself on the next page.

One memory stuck stained on the torn pages of a planner that crossed out one hour after another. It ticked off one fulfilled appointment to the next and wrote off disappointments and canceled casual lunch dates and regrets;

the next slid itself inside the mailbox, one stamp for every destination set for, one address for every departure that you will never come home to anymore;

the last etched itself on the lines of my hand. A mark left by ash fresh from the fire of burnt bones and cancelled birthdays. I wanted to hold on to you, only it was too soon, too late for me to pull myself out of the flames. We were counting years ahead, but you burned quickly and left a puddle of wax on top of the cake, right after ‘Happy’. Nothing follows next.

 I wanted to wash it off, to wipe it clean, to erase and forget. I tried every cleansing ritual and every magic trick but Houdini didn’t leave us any instructions and we know we couldn’t hide everything inside one little hat. It’s there and it’s gone, sketchy prints left behind traveled paths.

I reach for a sense of sanity and a bottle of whisky. I grip the glass, wet with the sweat of cold scotch gone stale, and feel it push against my palm. I could feel the cracks come slowly, so easily if I held on tighter, longer.

It is Monday too soon and July too early. I leave the mess as it is. I turn from where I sit and find that yesterday has left the table. It slithered out the window, greeted by the cackle of crickets as heaven crashed onto the dead leaves that lay fallen from the ever-departing tops of trees.

 

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Pasasalamat sa Pamamaalam: Mahal Naming Lola Juana “Aning” Jose, 1927-2013

Lola Aning

 

There is nothing easy about letting a loved one go.

We could fill our days with prayer and hope that the passage of time will slowly close that gap that has been left in us. We could also gather and recount all the best memories, including not only the joyful ones but also those with such intensity that gave us a life-changing kind of wisdom. Or we could look around, look at each other, and remind ourselves what our dearly departed left us with — these dear relationships, these precious ties of kin and friendship, and our braver selves now more in touch with being alive through this profoundly  enriching though difficult experience of death.

In these past days that we’ve laid our dear Lola Aning to rest, we draw our strength from all of you who stood by us. You who came to visit, you who prayed with us, you who wept with us, you who waited for morning with us, you who helped us cook and serve the food, you who ate and finished the food, you who cleaned the tables and washed the dishes, you who brought more food — yes, we have to mention this because our dear Lola is quite known for asking everyone she meets, whatever time of the day it is “Kumain ka na ba?” —  you who recalled her stories to us, you who listened to our stories about her, you who shared her memory with us, you who keep her memory alive in our minds and in our hearts. Thank you. Thank you to our dear family and friends, our neighbors, people we know well, people we may have never met but who keeps a special place for Lola Aning in their lives, thank you for being with us.

But most of all, thank you for being there with our Lola when she was alive. For sharing her days, all the good times and the hard times; for giving her reasons to live, to look forward to another day to get up; to those who never got tired of looking after her, to those who stayed with her until her final moments on earth, thank you. Thank you for being part of a life well-lived and worth every breath; because of all of you we know that our Lola is well-loved and that these all make up her wonderful life.

Now that we are about to take our Lola to the end of her mortal journey, though it will take time before our grief will pass over, let us now celebrate the beginning of her journey into eternity. She deserves nothing less than the glory of a life in paradise, and the memory of her life on Earth happily instilled and kept alive in all of us.

 We love you very very much Lola Aning. Thank you.

 

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Paanong ang ningning mong dati’y kayliwanag

Ngayo’y habangbuhay nang di masisilayan

At  bagamat hindi na maibabalik ang panahon

Ng rangya ng parang, ng rikit ng kasibulan

Hindi kami magdadalamhati,

Pagkat ang aming matatanto

Ay ang lalim at tatag

Ng pananalig na sa amin ay iniwan.

Pasintabi kay William Wordsworth,

                Salin ng bahagi ng tulang Ode: Intimations of Immortality (Lines 180-185)

 

Walang madali sa pamamaalam sa yumaong mahal sa buhay.

Maaari nating punan ang ating mga araw ng mga panalangin at hangaring sa paglipas ng panahon ay kusang mapupunan ang puwang na naiwan sa atin. Maaari din nating ipunin ang pinakamagagandang alaala – hindi lang ang masasaya kundi pati na rin yungmga tipong nagdulot ng masidhing pangaral sa ating mga buhay. Maaari rin tayong tumingin sa palibot, lingunin ang isa’t-isa, at alalahanin kung ano talaga ang siyang iniwan sa atin ng mahal na Lola Aning — higit sa anupaman ay ang ating mga ugnayan, kapamilya man o kaibigan, at ang ating mga sariling pinatatag ng bagong pagtingin sa buhay dulot nitong mapagyaman bagamat mahirap na karanasan ng kamatayan.

 Nitong mga huling araw ng pagkakahimlay ni Lola Aning, kaming kanyang mga kaanak at pamilya ay humuhugot ng lakas sa inyong nakiramay sa amin. Sa inyong lahat na bumisita, nag-alay ng dasal, umiyak at nakiiyak, naglamay at nanatili umaraw man o umulan, sa gitna ng bagyo’t malakas na hangin; sa mga tumulong na ibsan ang pasanin ng mga araw, sa mga tumulong mula sa pamamalengke, pagluluto, at pag-uurong, sa mga bumusog at nagpakabusog — at kailangan naming siguraduhing ang bawat isa’y nabusog sap agkat isa sa mga pinakamasayang alaala namin kay Lola Aning ay ang lagi niyang pagtatanong sa makakasalubong niya ng “O, kumain ka na ba?” — sa inyong sinamahan kami, sa mga nakinig sa aming kuwento, sa mga nagbahagi rin ng kanilang mga kuwento, sa mga nakibahagi sa paggunita sa aming Lola –kayo ang bumubuhay ng kanyang alaala sa isip at sa puso ng bawat isa. Taos puso ang aming pasasalamat.

 Higit sa lahat,higit sa pakikiramay sa kanyang pagyao, nais naming magpasalamat sa inyong pagiging bahagi ng buhay ni Lola Aning. Sa pagsama sa kanya noong siya’y nabubuhay pa, sa hirap ma’t sa ginhawa; sa pagbibigay sa kanya ng dahilan upang magpatuloy at bumangon sa bawat umaga; sa mga hindi nagsawang alagaan siya at bantayan, at naging kapiling nya hanggang sa kanyang pamamayapa. salamat at kayo ay naging bahagi ng mahaba at masagana niyang buhay. Dahil sa inyo alam naming minamahal ng husto ang aming Lola, na walang nasayang sa bawat niyang hininga.

At ngayong ihahatid na po natin siya sa dulo ng kanyang paglalakbay bilang isang mortal, bagamat mahabang panahon pa ang lilipas bago tuluyang matapos ang ating pagdadalamhati, kung maaari sana’y atin ring ipagdiwang ang simula ng kanyang paglalakbay sa buhay na walang hanggan. Wala nang mas nararapat pa para sa kanya kundi ang luwalhati ng buhay sa piling ng Maykapal habang ang alaala ng kanyang pagkabuhay ay nananatiling nag-aalab sa ating mga puso’t isipan.

Mahal na mahal ka namin Lola Aning. Maraming maraming maraming salamat.

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365 for 2013: (7) when the loss is one you refuse to own

when the doors of the elevator open

my eyes will make its way through

dressed in amber and rose

looking back at the space 

of secrets only mirrors inside the box know 

you dont reach out

because i am no longer with you

i am no longer with you

 because i am within

i will be in the space you breathe

in the same rhythm you beat

in the same paths through doors that close

and open again

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