Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Revisiting...

An elderly mans slowly shuffles by, his eyes weary, his shoulders burdened by all the years, all the worries, and all the pain he has endured... Leaning on his cane, he makes his way down the hall, his goal simple, to reach the chair with dignity, without stumbling...
He is surrounded by family members, yet he is lonely, his wife of so many years dead, for nearly two years now, and he still can't get over the fact that she will not lie in the bed next to his... and even thought he knows he is loved by his children and grandchildren, that his every whim is considered sacred, he is weary of his solitary journey...

At night, I share a room with that elderly man, my grandfather, dear to my heart. I now occupy the bed which was once my grandmother's, where i used to cuddle in beside her for a long bedtime story...
I have appointed myself guardian of that tender and loving person who is my grandfather. I have held him while we both cried over her loss. I have helped him sit up in bed when his arms failed him, i have helped him put on his slippers, I have tucked him in... but i am not her, and i can never replace the void she has left in all of our hearts.

i have never met anyone like my grandmother, my Teta... when she found out she was diagnosed with cancer, she was grateful it was her and not any other member of her family... God, she was brave...
She was soft spoken, never raised her voice, and meticulously arranged her house, so that it was always spotless and always had good food in the fridge... I remember how she lovingly addressed even the most banal of things, such as preparing sandwiches for me to take to school: they all had to be the same size, wrapped in cling film with an extra napkin, just in case. I remember the drawer that never ran out of chocolate, i remember the wise words she bestowed, and i remember that day in, day out, she was always there for me. When i left for school, when i returned, when i went to camp, the one person i could always count on was her. Even though she was very frail, she had the heart of a lion; she even travelled to Africa to see me when i was born...

It has been a while since she came to mind. When she died, i couldn't stop thinking of her. I wanted to engrave every single detail in my memory. Then, it was even harder letting go. Slowly she settled into my heart and mind with the confort of a fond memory. For a while, she even faded away... But yesterday, i revisited her. I thought i had overcome the longing, but a silly film released all my pentup feelings.
As i lay in her bed, tears streaming down my face, i paid hommage to this wise woman, my hero, my Teta. I recalled her dauntless spirit, her gentle touch, her huge heart, her faith, her courage, and her untiring arms, that swept, cooked, cleaned and tended every wound.


Teta, you loved and loved until you could love no more... Even in dying, you taught me a valuable lesson about life... You live on, in me.

1 Comments:

At Thursday, November 02, 2006 , Blogger Margaret said...

I also feel that my grandmother lives on with me. I hope she would be proud of the choices that I have made.
Thanks for sharing part of yourself,
Margaret

 

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