I was in Rockwell earlier and ran into a woman who has not set foot in Power Plant Mall since her husband suddenly died last year. The mall was where they would often go together as a family to eat, shop, do errands, etc. Being a place that held nothing but good memories, the mall suddenly became a symbol of what she had lost, a monument to her loneliness; so much so that she avoided coming back well over a year since her husband passed.
It occurred to me then, while we were talking and she, struggling to keep tears from falling, that we all have such “places”. Places that once brought us so much joy, and in one swift moment, robbed us of the very same joy it gave us. Mine used to be the lower deck of a bunk bed, the moment after I rub my eyes of sleep early in the morning. It’s the coziest place in the world, tucked under my warm blanket and letting myself indulge in a few more minutes of good ‘ol REM time.
But one morning in June, a few days shy of a decade ago, I received the worst text message of my life right under that cozy bunk bed, and I guess it hasn’t given me the same joy as it did before that awful morning when my dad told me and my sister that she had gone.
Ten years, Auntie Char. Has it really been that long? This day, ten years ago, she was sick but she was still alive and I was still enjoying that blissful sliver of time spent under my cozy bunk bed. I haven’t thought about her in a while, not this much anyway, but she’d always be there, lingering on a side street in my mind.
In every place I’d visit, I’d think about how she would have loved it there—I think wanderlust is the one thing Mina and I got from her; our love for airports, meeting new people, being surrounded by a crowd speaking in languages we do not understand. Even when I’m on Facebook and see my mom and grandmother posting status messages about the brownouts and garbage disposal situation in Midsayap, I’d think, if Auntie Char were still here, there’d already be a Facebook page called ‘Stop the brownouts in Mindanao’ and that page would probably have over a thousand ‘Likes’ by now. She could recruit thousands, my Aunt. She’s awesome like that.
When I think of the step the woman from the mall took today, it pinches at the heart. It really was brave of her to do so, even if she tried shrugging it off like it wasn’t a big deal, that it was because someone had asked to meet her there and the mall seemed like the logical choice. I applaud her for putting up that brave facade…it takes a great amount of courage that I guess only someone who’s been on the same boat can appreciate or understand.
Losing someone is never easy, because somehow, a part of our ‘self’ is lost, too. The part who thought we’d be growing crazy senile together, the part who thought we’d share a couple more adventures at the very least. But sometimes life has a cruel way of sending our seemingly balanced lives off-kilter, and I guess the best way to move forward is to listen to the message that event brings.
For me, it’s always been that family is important. And that you make every moment count. Give your mom a hug. Tell your dad he makes the corniest jokes. Watch a concert with your siblings. Blog about a woman you met in the mall and share it with people who matter. Simple, silly things like that.
I’m really glad I met that woman today. Because she made me remember. :)
Hope you’re havin’ a hoot up in heaven, Auntie Char. We sure miss you here :)
Love Lost (acoustic version) by The Temper Trap
I die. I totally die. <3
Is it possible to be happy in this life?
You betcha. :D
I’ve shared this video one too many times already, but I never tire of watching it. It spells my idea of BLISS. <3
I’ve been attending this writing workshop for several weeks now, and we are approaching the end of it next week.
Which means I should already be working on my final output.
Which, of course, I am not.
Is procrastination really an affliction all writers share or is it just me? Even before I decided to become a full-time writer, the procrastination bug had already wormed its way into my system. Somewhere between the time suck that was Live Journal (first blog *woot woot*), Minesweeper (I can flag bomb mines with my eyes closed *whuuuut*), college philosophy papers, crunching numbers in accounting (which I hated, and still hate), and getting drunk off my head with Alet and Steffi, the cramming bug bit.
Even now when I’m supposed to be writing a food article for a magazine due tomorrow, I am here in Tumblr. Rambling. Lurking. iMessaging. Dillydallying. Thinking that the volcano sushi I ate earlier had already made its way to my thighs.
Must stop. Can’t stop.
Crap. Crop. Crepe. Cropped. Creep.
Eto na lang:
Yes, Ryan Gosling.