Thursday, October 21, 2010

remembering inang

and speaking of stairs and falling, i miss inang.

inang was mama's mama. she lived with our family from the time they moved from an apartment to the house where we still live to this day (tangential sharing: i was born around that time, so i'm as old as this ... extremely young house).

with no exaggeration, i believe i am who i am today because inang was a big part of my childhood. as to whether this is something she brags about to her angel friends in heaven, i'm not exactly sure. inang passed away in 1998 but i still remember many amusing and amazing grandmothery things about her.
  • she taught me not to step on books because we should love them (which is also why i don't step on family members, select friends and many kinds of cheese).
  • she told us there is no such thing as utang (loan) among family members so what's mine is my whole family's (why did i document this?).
  • she insisted that we finish everything on our plate and nap every day after lunch (i've happily discovered that these are so much easier to do in adulthood).
  • she taught us how to pray, mostly in front of a picture of Jesus with such a piercing and haunting look, it gave me and my sisters nightmares throughout our whole childhood.
  • she was into recycling way before 'earth-friendly' was even a concept: she never threw away any article of clothing. when she saw us attempting to dispose of shoes, she would adopt them even if they just gathered dust and mold in her cabinet. she never threw away food and would rather eat expired or rotten food than spare her health.
  • she thought it was an absolute sin to sing at the dinner table or while washing the dishes because it meant a life of being single (wait ...).
  • at the table, she always pushed the food away from her and nearer to dad, her favorite. dad always ended with a fortress of food and plates around him because of all the rearrangements inang made.
  • she hated it when people went out of the way for her. she never put herself ahead of anyone or anything. no snarky comments from me about this one. 
  • toward the end of her life, she suffered from alzheimer's and went into illogical episodes. one time, she wanted me to get the big knife from the kitchen so she could hurt herself. i tried to reason with her on this one.
very agitated inang: 'bakit di mo kunin ang kutsilyo?!' (why won't you get the knife?!)
me, trying to be funny: 'inang, wag. masakit yon.' (no, that would be quite painful.)
inang: 'ayaw mo ha! ayaw mo! ikaw nalang sasaktan ko!' (you don't want to get it? i'll hurt you instead!)
me: 'wag. apo nyo ako, diba?' (don't, i'm your granddaughter, remember?)
inang: 'ah ok.'
 she took a nap after that.

and as i wipe away the hot tears that have fallen from all this reminiscing, i recall that i started by talking about stairs and falling. eherrrrm. regrouping for a second ... and another ... ok back to my little story.

after we had the second floor built, inang liked sitting at the foot of the stairs. one time, as i was going down our stairs with a friend, i accidentally missed a step. if you have fallen down stairs even just once in your life, then you know the kind of rapid panic and gut-wrenching sensation it brings all in the span of a few milliseconds. if the staircase is long enough, you can have your whole life flash before your eyes. if you fall just a few steps, you'll probably remember breakfast.

my friend wondered why i disappeared from her side and started laughing (screaming?) as i rolled down the steps ... on a straight course towards my poor unsuspecting grandmother who had her back to us. despite the pain, i was able to summon all my energy towards stopping my freefall so i wouldn't knock over my fragile inang. let me just say: that was not the easiest thing. when she saw me in my awkward position behind her (she was deaf and probably didn't hear me shouting while falling), she scolded me for being careless. i laughed and cried at the same time. i think. or maybe i passed out.

i still think about inang a lot. i think about how she would've loved juancho and martina to bits. i wish sometimes she was still alive because now i have my own money and could buy her ice cream and cake and slippers. i think about how she would've been so proud of me now, not because i passed the medical boards or that i have a steady job, but because i almost always finish my food.



Estefania said...

I regret so much that I did not have more moments to embrace her enough for her to feel how much I love her. She didn't even allow me to see her when she left our house that afternoon to finally join our Lord.

orange said...

that's ok mama :) i'm sure she knew we all loved her.

grossy said...

umm, "Estefania", i think that was my fault why you didn't see inang when she passed away...because you were talking to me on the phone...calling from school because naiwan ako ng school bus.


anyway, there's no way to read this entry without crying. goojob tita eng. i'm sure inang is very proud of us, coz hindi na tayo mahirap pakainin at nagnanaptime na tayo.

and by the way, PENGENG PERA. :)