Friday, August 26, 2005

Remembering my Lola

Wrote the following passage last year when my beloved grandmother passed away on 30 August 2004:

The family historian is now gone and with her the many stories and remembrances of generations. No one else can make the same woodfire-cooked pancakes, the tasty salted fish nor the soft and melting humba . She even won prizes for her cooking.

I haven't always appreciated Lola Aurea especially when I was young because she seemed far too fuzzy about things. She refused to touch the television at home for fear that it would blow up. But later on, I learned to respect her. How can you not respect someone who fostered and cared for ten children? As a testament to her, all of them love her very much. Among the ten kids she raised is one who grew up to be the best mom in the world, well... maybe second to her!

I will always treasure the time I spent with her, watching her feed the chickens, water the plants and of course, cook her delicious dishes. I am so glad we spent time together before I went to Australia. I stuck to her side like a tuko or gecko during my two-week stay in Siaton, Negros Oriental. Our first day there, we went to the supermarket in Dumaguete to buy some milk for her cereals. I was in shock when we ended up with two boxes of groceries (mostly canned good which I had to lug for a bit) and a great big tin of biscuits (equivalent to the size of a pail). Then we made the one-hour trip to Siaton by bus.

That first day in Siaton was also her first day back, having been to the United States for some months. Lola had eleven groups of friends come over during that first afternoon home. And there I was asking her why we had to get all those biscuits (mystery solved). We kept a steady stream of coffee and snacks going until everyone had cleared out. Afterwards, we went walking and what should have been a twenty-minute walk took hours because of the many friends she encountered along the way. She was that popular! She was open, gregarious, witty, chatty and intelligent. People in need were also drawn to her because of her generosity.

Lola Aurea was an independent sprit and she loved her life. She would still go about the fields and check on the condition of her childrens' plots. She was always strong and ready to go! Lola was debilitated by cancer this past year and that must have been very difficult for her. But she fought a good fight and was actually able to say goodbye to all ten of her children. She also professed her faith in Jesus. Lola said she no longer feared death because she knew God would guide her.

Oh Lola, you will be sorely missed. I was hoping you could still grace my wedding but God had other plans for you. I know you will still be there on that special day though I will not be able to see you. Thank you for all the happy memories. Through you, I have felt what it's like to be truly loved by a grandparent.