Kinship is in the Heart!

Today we laid to rest Jean and Tisha’s paternal grandmother.  Lola Rading was 93.  She died of throat cancer, the one that gradually blocks the passage for food and breathing.

Two months ago though, when we first visited her after a decade of no communication, she can still cry and smile and listen to the gossips and laughter that we uninhibitedly shared despite the awkward initial hellos. And Lola Rading, uncomplaining in spite of her discomfort, urged us to eat together and participate in what she knows as sharing of the heart.  One lesson I learned from her early on, no matter how angry one family is with another, serve the food.  Eventually, when cooler heads prevail, everything will be all right.  But nothing can be gained from an empty stomach.  And so, that day, she even made an effort to stand and walk and be present at the dinner table.

But today, we had to say our final good-bye to her. Tish couldn’t make it for the interment because of a long exam.  But Jean talked with her cousins, her aunties and uncles, and with those who loved her grandmother. A few tears can’t be helped, for how can one not cry for a matriarch who knew nothing else but love her brood. And her son Aldwin spelled it out in halting sobs…Mommy said she loves us all!  quoting verbatim Mahal ko kayong lahat!  That was why she never left her home far enough and long enough, for a mother’s place is in the home where one of children or grandchildren may come and need her help.  Lola Rading cooked food, sewed clothes, played mahjong and poker with her children, talked with them, and prayed her best to keep her family safe and sound.

Well, life has its ills and even family either knowingly or unknowingly begrudge each other. Sometimes, problems can be solved after sipping a hot bowl of corn soup.  But others seem to take root and pierce the heart of a mother.

But that is all up and done with now. Barney is moving on to his final year of sacred theology. What greater blessing can a mother have than to have a grandchild become a priest. Amy and Jay are now down under in Australia.  But they had received the photos of how immaculately beautiful the final services had been given to their Lola.  Ed and Rica saw to it that everything was right and perfect. Lola Rading deserved nothing less. Glen and Belen had shifted for the 24/7 nursing care, and all the others had been folding napkins, at Lola’s beck and call.

But to everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. Lola Rading’s time ticked the final tock. And her family surrounded her with white flowers, orchids and mumps, befitting a mother deeply loved.

Ooooops! In case Emma gets to read this.  She is the erstwhile entertainer. Nell is the tearjerker, and Sammy the quiet supporter.  GJ, what do you think?  Marami pang left out like Edith managing the gremlins and yet remembering to bring flowers to Lola after mass…

Emma will write  her memoirs…  For now, kinship is in the heart, and my daughter Jean is already happy with that. Di ba, Lola?

In My Diary 14 September 2010

Friday, 10 Sept – Tish, Steph and Ale had an overnight group study – identifying cat muscles.

Saturday, 11 Sept – surprise 70th birthday party for Tito Manny Ruiz.

Sunday, 12 Sept – day out with the family, 1st stop at Malou and Bong’s home, 2nd stop at Market Market, 3rd stop at Aling Laleng’s dress shoppe, and last stop at the St Paul of the Cross Church for the 7 pm last mass.

Monday, 13 Sept – grocery at Robinson’s Metro East

This is just a reminder of what I am supposed to remember for my future blogs. It’s beginning to feel like Christmas…the hustle and bustle is in the air… Oh, I got to go!

In My Diary 08 September 2010

We have a corpse of a cat in the house!

We have dead insects, too! Some seventy species all pinned on a white styropor. Science project. Subject: Entomology.

We have t-shirts and give=aways from various sponsors for org activities.

In short, my house does not look homey nor cozy.  My house is simply positively messy and dirty! (:

God, I am scared!

The rainy season had commenced and the dengue fever had hit again.  This time, the medical experts are saying a fifth virus strain might be causing the rise in the hospital stat for this mosquito bite  illness. And when undetected and untended, the condition could be dangerously fatal. That is why I got so scared.

Jean announced last Tuesday, 31 August, that she could not go to school.  She has fever and severe headaches.   I had to look at her and understand what she had just said. Jean does not have the word absence in her vocabulary.  When the understanding sank in, I went ballistic. Dengue? When did you get bitten?  Did you not drink enough water? Or are you just tired.  Did you get enough sleep last night? Jean had been writing the second chapter of her thesis since Saturday.  The computer could have caused the headaches.

But I told her to lie down on my bed with the ice pack on her forehead. I prepared some tea and administered the paracetamol. I waited for the coughs and the colds. It  might be the flu.  She could have gotten caught in some drizzle on her way to her classes. One hour. Two hours. No colds! No coughs! Shucks! It must be dengue. What else could it be?

I called my classmate Girlie and related to her the symptoms. She advised Advil, on a full stomach, every six hours and an anti viral capsule for the next five days.  The following day, the temperature was higher and the headaches were unbearable. I called Girlie again and she added continuous Biogesic every four hours.  I had to wake Jean up even if she was deep in sleep. The paracetamol took a little of the headache off but the fever was still on, and Jean couldn’t open her eyes. And I got real scared. Jean had been lying motionless for 48 hours now. Girlie advised a Complete Blood Count  the next day. It tested negative for dengue. I was relieved.

But Jean  still couldn’t sit up long enough. The eyes hurt. The joints, too. The body was just too weak. And she slept and slept and slept. So I said God, I am so scared! Please heal my Jean. Make her strong again, please!

God answered my prayers.  It was just fatigue. It’s been eight days now. She gets nausea on the way to school.  But she’s eating apples and ice cream now. Thank you, God!