Bakit hindi kita magawa?! Humanda ka. Hindi kita susukuan. Aja. 👊
I was currently uploading pictures onto my mom’s FB account when I heard Nanay shouting “Hindi na yata humihinga si Kuya mo!” (It seems like ‘Kuya’ isn’t breathing anymore!) (‘Kuya’ is actually my grandfather, Nanay’s husband.) My mom, who by that time was watching me upload the photos, ran upstairs and told my dad. I felt the tension building up inside me but I tried to remain calm. I nonchalantly waited for the photos to upload, logged out my mom’s account, closed the browser and turned off the computer, like it was just a normal night; but I know it wasn’t. I don’t know if I was in shock and can’t seem to grasp it all yet, or I was just simply calm.
Lesly, my 9-year old cousin, and Leih, Lesly’s 3-year old sister, went into our house since people in theirs were already panicking. (We live in a duplex) When my mom came back, crying, I knew it already; that Lolo’s dead. She was crying, Nanay’s crying. Some of our neighbors (which are mostly our relatives) gathered outside to see what was happening. (This is one of those times I’m thankful we’re living in a compound. Physical help is just one callout away) Everyone was anxious and I was there, with my heartbeat not even racing.
Lolo’s confirmed dead and I was still calm. My mom asked me to call Ninang (Lolo’s daughter), who just got out of the house to head to work, and ask her to just go back. I dialed her number, but my mom took the phone from me and talked to her instead. I can hear their sobs, and their voices were all clearly staggered, while I was on the sofa, seated calmly with the two kids - tears weren’t even brimming my eyes. I actually started to think I’m heartless; but I’m definitely not.
I can feel my flesh trembling. I felt the physical tension; but emotionally, I feel like am really okay, which actually bothered me. I thought for sure that maybe I can’t just cry because I’m around people, but that’s not the case too, ‘cause when I was already in bed, to sleep (with the two kids, who were already sleeping, since I was told to look out for them while everyone was busy about Lolo), I still am not crying. I was in the dark, contemplating and even reminiscing those times when Lolo’s still alive and then suddenly, I realized the reason why there were no tears falling.
You’re probably thinking that we weren’t close, that’s why. Actually, we kind of were. He was the one who taught me how to open the stove. He used to give me “Piso” every time I ask him one. He was the one who drives and fetches me to and from school since my pre-school to high school days. He bought a piggy bank and saved money (he’s a tricycle driver) so he could give me a gold necklace, for my first birthday. He allowed me to take the tricycle’s back-ride, and enjoy it, which actually was one of the highlights of my childhood. He even allowed me to join him while he drives his tricycle.
Lolo and I shared a lot of those small moments together and I think that the reason why I didn’t cry is because I know he’s already at peace. I had seen his transition - from the cool tricycle driver he was, up to the point he can’t even sit up anymore - and it was really sad, seeing him bed-ridden. I can tell that he was already having a hard time. At some point, it even seemed like breathing was such a chore for him. It would be heartbreaking for him to go, yes definitely, but I think he already lived his life, and it’s time for him to already rest his weary eyes and weak body.
While everyone was crying, I was smiling. While everyone panicked, I was calm. While everyone felt heavy emotions, I felt light ones. Because while everyone thought of his death, I reminisced his life. That’s the reason why I didn’t cry; because I know Lolo’s okay now and he’s already with our Creator. I fell asleep thinking about that.