Wednesday, April 27

the inevitable abandon.

they keep asking me what triggered it, because i was with him when it had finally caught up with him.

and most times, i just shrug them off, and tell them that perhaps, this was an inevitability. that all of us are doomed in the end, because mortality is something that we need to confront as we age. but deep in my heart, i know when it happened, because i am convinced that i was the first to witness his surrender.

it was early evening, the distinct aroma of escabeche wafted in the room, and i was in my own, impenetrable bubble, hammering away for my online employer.

all of a sudden, the distinct sound of shattered glass sliced through the uneventful silence that night. i looked at where the sound came from, and there i saw him -- the glass had apparently slithered from his grip, and he lay there motionless, his eyes empty, and his ethos, that of a defeated man.

from then on, he spiraled downwards -- it started with his loss of locomotor skills, then his speech abandoned him, until finally, he regressed back into infancy.

my grandfather, at age 84, had just been engulfed by senility.

prior to writing this, i had a clear idea of what i wanted to write about: i wished to describe him down to his littlest endearments. how he looks for example, or how he is passionate about world war two and manny pacquiao, or how very lovingly he prepares his sliced papaya fruits for dinner, or how he always beams with pride when he tells his friends that one of his grandchildren is the batch valedictorian.

but each time i attempt to muster the adjectives that can paint a clear picture of him, i fail to do so -- because apparently, love is a beautiful abstraction, and words, sometimes, are never sufficient to encapsulate the dictates of the heart.

but one day, just as i was rummaging through his things, i found my heart silently weeping after it had seen how his affections were reduced to a few belongings that he had kept hidden from all of us.

being one to be drawn by sentimentality, he had a lot of items stacked in his room: on that day, I saw his favorite hammer on top of his drawer, a blue ball cap that was hanging in his graying wall, a vietnamese hat that my mom got him from bohol, a solar-powered flashlight that rested on a monobloc chair, a walking cane beside his bed, and empty bottles of menthol rubs that were just strewn in disarray.

he also had a wooden box that he oftentimes kept locked. but this time, it was unlocked. i carefully pulled the lid open and peeked inside.

what instantly caught my eye was a packet of papers that was wrapped in plastic.

when i meticulously loosened the packet from the rubber bands that kept it intact, i saw the two most beautiful things:

a yellowing love letter from my grandmother before she passed;

and the kindergarten test paper, dated 1990, of a cousin that had a perfect score.


lolo, even when most people think otherwise, i believe you can still come back. i love you, and we miss you so much.

26 comments:

Louie said...

Behind those sentimental items was the beautiful journey your grandpa has taken.

He will come back, to remember how awesome his life has become.

claudiopoi said...

@louie,

all of us are also hopeful. sana nga. :)

fox said...

na miss ko tuloy ang lolo ko.. who suffered from a stroke and was bedridden for 5 years..

he passed away at the age of 84.

i used to go with him when i was a kid and we sell "ginamos" a fish bagoong from bisaya...

=========================
minsan mas close pa tayo sa mga grandparents kesa sa mga parents natin...

Spiral Prince said...

Aww. My condolences, Vlad. I had hoped he would recover his health...

*comforthug*

claudiopoi said...

@fox,

ay sir. peyborit ko po ang ginamos. kami ng lolo ko. hehe. hmm, pero bakit ka nagtinda ng ginamos? *mejo confused look*

@topepow,

thanks topepow. itabang nalang mi ug ampo niya. :)

glentot said...

Aww I can feel so much love parang natransmit from your keyboard over the net. It's so potent because it's love for family. I have never met both my Lolos, they have really terrible reputations (one was a drunkard, the other a soldier) but I resolve to name my children after them.

It's these little things that mean a lot to some people. I understand why you cried. I would have done the same.

Carlo said...

i am deeply touched. we will pray for your lolo, kapatid. *hugs*

claudiopoi said...

@glentot,

what you said made me think about how, in the end, all of our lives are intertwined, in a way, in this never-ending cycle of continuity. the old may perish, but the young shall take reign. maganda ang plano mo na yan. para merong continuity sa lahi. grabe noh, we are all so finite? :)

@carlo,

kapatid, mabuti naman at may nagawa ka na sa idle time mo. hehe. :) thanks sa prayers, and sana nga, bumuti ang lagay nya soon. para naman tayong hindi palaging nag uusap neto sa FB at twitter. hehe.

gillboard said...

mga posts mo lately di ako nakakarelate. i don't have siblings and i barely met my grandfathers.

sad.

gillboard said...

PS. my prayers to your lolo. :(

claudiopoi said...

@gillboard,

thank you for your kind words. sana nga magdilang anghel ka. :)

fox said...

@fox,

ay sir. peyborit ko po ang ginamos. kami ng lolo ko. hehe. hmm, pero bakit ka nagtinda ng ginamos? *mejo confused look*
=============================

sinamahan ko ang lolo ko na magtinda. madami kasi siyang kababayan na bisaya (suki) dito sa manila noong bata pa ako.. i was in elementary pa. kaya super alalay ako ni lolo.. hehehe

(nag explain daw?!?) hehehe

claudiopoi said...

@fox,

wow. that sounds like an unforgettable part of your past, sir. nagulat lang ako sa ginamos talaga. hehe. :) anyway, good to know.

Mugen said...

Behind the entry is a cherished memory of a person who was loved so much in his life.

Cheers to your lolo for crossing the finish line at the prime of his age.

claudiopoi said...

@mugen,

yun din ang naisip ko. at bilang ako ay mahilig mag-isip, napagtanto ko: ganun din kaya ako pag tumanda ako? meron din kayang aakay sa akin?

Yj said...

believe me, i have something really nice to say... but after reading Glenn's comment...

partially dead na utak ko. :(

yakap nalang kita.

Peter said...

You said it -- inevitable. Think about mortality or immortality.

claudiopoi said...

@yj,

yaan mo nalang. hehe. salamat sa yakap. miss ko na kayo kasama. :)

@peter,

yes, inevitable. sometimes, i feel the drumming of my heart kasi -- na any minute from that moment, i am going to finally succumb to my mortality. ang weird lang.

RAYADRIAN said...

awwww.. this is heartbreaking.. :c
reading this got me teary-eyed..

huuuugs!

claudiopoi said...

@rayadrian,

welcome to my blog, and i also wish to read more of you. sulat ka pa ah! :)

iprovoked said...

Ang sad naman. My condolences. Na-miss ko tuloy lolo ko. :|

Sana nakapagpend pa ako ng matagal na panahon with my grampa and grammom, I have a very few memories of them, most of it I can hardly remember. :|

claudiopoi said...

@iprovoked,

yes, yes. regret often comes at the end. pero at least sa lolo ko, i know na we showered him with so much love back when he was still okay. :) or at least i hope he felt it din.

Andy said...

the memories of my lolo came in a rush as i read this post. namiss ko tuloy yung paggawa nya ng laruang karitong made of kawayan as a birthday gift.

OT - WV: pouted. hahaha!

claudiopoi said...

@andy,

grabe naman ang pagiging craftsman ng lolo mo. :) diba ang sarap mag reminisce ng memories? bakit kasi kailangan pa nating tumanda lahat eh. :|

glentot said...

Andy may Lolo ka pa? Eh Lolo ka na.

claudiopoi said...

@andy,

may pending na hirit para sayo, my friend. :)