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
Perhaps my biggest regret was not calling her more often or staying in her house during vacations in
She was a lady in all sense of the word.
Someday, I’ll see her again.