Saturday, March 10, 2012


"A grandparent has the wisdom of long experience and the love of an understanding heart."

I have always been very fond of my maternal grandmother...I still am. To me she has always been a beam of light to my dark tunnel...and to an extent she still is. She's long gone but I would like to believe that she constantly looks over me as she would occasionally appear in my dreams. I remember a lot of things about my "Inay Idang", this is how my sisters and I call her. She has doted on my youngest sister, but I never ever felt that she loved either of us more than anybody else. We all felt loved the same way. She was my "lifesaver" during my highschool days :)... You see I've never been too keen on projects that involved sewing, crocheting, or any other needle work. Whenever I had a school project that involved such, she would volunteer to do it for me. Once she caught me sewing a blouse and I got a scolding from her when she saw me sewing up the arm holes. From that time on she'd often hover over me when she sees me struggling with my mom's sewing machine. 

She was such a sweet old grandmother. She'd often travel from Batangas to Caloocan City (where we used to live) and then to Las Pinas (when we transferred in 1979) to visit us during her prime. Distance never really bothered her, I guess, just to be able to spend time with her children and grandchildren. And it was during such visits that she'd always bring with her all sorts of vegetables and fruits, sweets and live chickens even. She would get a bowl and put salt and a few grains of rice and I would excitedly follow her to our backyard where she'd "slay" the chicken she brought from the province. I was about 11 or 12 years old I think. While my squeamish sisters shied away from the chicken's "execution.", I'd be at my grandma's side watching her do the deed. And I learned from just watching her... I then understood why she needed the bowl with salt  and rice grains. It was there that she poured the chicken blood which was included in the wonderful soup that she made for us.I was more interested in cooking than sewing. I didn't care whether there was a little blood involved like cleaning fish or chopping meat...hence,  plucking, bleeding, and scalding a just slaughtered chicken, was never a problem for me. 

I also remember how I loved rummaging through her big hand bag...where I'd see a couple of biscuits, pieces of pandesal, and other goodies. She also was our "mail lady", as she'd bring letters that my cousin and I exchanged with each other during our youth. I remember a lot of things about her...she was there to wipe my tears away, she nursed me when I was sick. She was such a loving grandmother and I miss her so much up to this very moment. Oh and she supported and encouraged me with my passion for business. Once during our summer vacation, I asked her if she could buy me ingredients for halo-halo because I wanted to sell and earn money while school is out. And she came up with all kinds of ingredients, even going to the extent of preparing  the gelatin and saging na saba herself for my business venture. :) She's like that. 

It was also from her (I guess) that I "inherited" the love for horror movies. I recall one time when she tagged me along with my aunty and we watched a Filipino horror movie that stayed in my mind for weeks. I was sleepless for some time and always wary of the seemingly  "shadows" that surrounded me.hehehe

Then she fell ill. She was sick for a very long time. Her children (my mom, aunty and uncles) took turns in taking care of her. And, if my guess is right, she stayed with us longer. I saw how my mom took care of her. My grandma was no longer the picture of iron and steel. Sometimes she no longer remembers faces or names. But she remembers us, most especially my youngest sister. It was difficult for her to walk, but my mom would often press her to do so. I was more creative in encouraging her hahaha. I'd talk to both my sisters, and we'd pretend to fight with our youngest sister, who would then shout and ask for our grandmother's help. Our grandmother, on seeing this, would stand and walk towards us with slippers on her hand. She was ready to attack and shoo us away from our youngest sister. This would always bring us to tears laughing but feeling victorious that we were able to make her stand and walk.

Then one day, the Lord called her, though it was something that we expected to happen, it was still a painful realisation. No more warm hugs. No more trips to the ancestral home. No more jars of sweets. Only memories. And boy! Am I glad that she was so much part of my memory as we were all to her. I had this wonderful and unforgettable experience, less than a month after her demise. It was my first birthday just some weeks after her death. You see, a couple of days before my birthday, I prayed hard for her to visit me, in any form on my birthday. I was not disappointed. That birthday morning, as I awoke, the first thing I noticed inside my bedroom was a butterfly. How it got there? I would not really know. But I knew it was my grandmother,  the butterfly stayed inside my room the whole day.

It was her birthday last March 7...and found myself in nostalgia. My Inay may have left us long ago...but she will always stay inside my heart and will always be part of my best childhood memories.  I know we will meet again...."to infinity and beyond" (quoting from buzz lightyear)

"Grandmother-grandchild relationships are simple. Grandmas are short on criticism and long on love."

Happy Happy Birthday Inay! I love you and miss you terribly. Do you know that I keep dreaming about your bedroom in Rosario? I wonder what that means?  :)


joipi sison santos said...

ate enid, the best blog entry so me laughing and then teary eyed in the end...I miss inay...but I know she will always be watching over us, helping us, praying for us...

carenmeman said...

thanks cousin! we're fortunate to have Inay in our lives. Having a grandmother is one of the best gifts that life can offer. :)