Wednesday, 21 November 2007

The Death of a Lady

Whenever my Grandmother would walk into a room, the scent of gardenias would fill the air. She wouldn’t dare leave the house with her hair fixed, her clothes ironed, and her half-slip in place. I recall playing with her numerous shoes hen I was a boy and then rummaging her closet in search of her exotic folding fans. When I used to live with her, we would go to mass every Sunday and I would stare in awe at the ceiling of San Juan del Monte Church. After mass, we would dutifully walk to the back of the Church where the cemetery is located. She would light a candle and place it on my Grandfather’s grave.

But don’t get me wrong. She wasn’t serious all the time. She loved to laugh and to joke around. Her infectious laughter would reverberate through the rooms in her house. She took cleanliness seriously and scolded untidy maids who didn’t keep the floor well polished. She had a way of charming those around her. My Grandmother carried herself with dignity and possessed an undeniable air of aristocracy which naturally shone through her demeanor. She was not haughty or snobbish and was always graceful.

Every morning, the daily delivery of Magnolia milk would be at the gate. Fresh pandesal would be waiting at the table along with Anchor butter. Birthdays in her house were celebrated with tables full of food. Christmas and New Years were marked with double effort. It was one of the happiest times in my life.

When I first heard the news of my Grandmother’s death, I was shocked. I didn’t know how to react. At first, I denied it and didn’t believe it. I thought to myself that she’d be in her house in San Juan as always, just waiting. Then I called my Uncle who confirmed the news. I couldn’t hold back the tears. I remembered her smile and her laugh. I remembered the best memories.

Perhaps my biggest regret was not calling her more often or staying in her house during vacations in Manila. I just always thought she would be there and I would do all those things next time. Now, there is no more next time. I can no longer call her, talk to her, and hear her laughter.

She was a lady in all sense of the word.

Someday, I’ll see her again.


Streams of Consciousness said...

To my dear friend, my sincerest condolences. The pain of loss gives us a reminder to value what we still have. And hopefully that will give us a sigh of relief, if not of contentment. Ciao!!!

John Halcyon von Rothschild said...

Thank you for the words of encouragement. Have a good Thanksgiving dear friend!

Anonymous said...

When a family member is lost, she/he remains immortal in the memories left with children, friends and keens. I'm glad you have fond memories of your grandma, i bet she was one awesome granny.