I was sitting on the floor, finishing off the job my father left that afternoon and watching a documentary about The Beatles. And then the dreadful phone call.
My niece answered the phone. My mother was on the other line and asked for my cousin. After putting the phone down, he shook his hand and mouthed,” Wala na.”
Today feels quite unexplainable. I lost an aunt who was just rushed to the hospital a day ago. Nanay Cely is my father’s eldest sibling. My fondest memory of her is when I was still a young kid. And every Saturday we would go to Pasig and she would always have something served as breakfast for me and Papa. My favorite was her spaghetti and hot pandesal with Dari Creme. I stopped the occasional visit because I was already “nagdadalaga.” There were things I would rather do than go with them every Saturday. But that pandesal combo was still my favorite part of the place.
There are 5 houses in that area of Pasig where my paternal relatives reside. Nanay Cely’s was the first one we would go to every time. Every. Time. We’re usually there during special occasions. There was even a time when I didn’t leave the place. I was too shy to bond outside with my cousins because I “believed” we grew apart.
I’m at lost for words right now. Struggling to write. My niece has fever and I wish my parents are here. They’re both still in Pasig to help with stuff and all. I feel sad but don’t know how to properly let it out of my system. I felt crying when I found out about the news; but stopped myself from doing so because I had to finish working. Now that I’m freer to give in to the emotion, I can’t find the way to do it.
Everything was so sudden. She was brought to the hospital yesterday for a reason I still don’t know. And then while I was bathing my niece, Papa said they have to leave because Tita Alice called; Nanay Cely’s condition has worsened. I barely see my father cry. I can even count using one hand the number of times I’ve seen him cry. And the look in his eyes told me something might happen. I felt scared and sad both at the same time. I was hoping she was still going to be okay. Because I’ve never seen her weak or sick.
I also remember how she was so grateful to me and my mother because we donated blood for her son, who was undergoing dialysis. She gave us sandwiches and pineapple juice so we wouldn’t get dizzy due to the loss of blood. She thanked us again and again and cried, while having a conversation with Mama, about what they were going through.
I didn’t know He was going to take her away from us this soon. But thank you Nanay for extending your love for us. I’m going to miss you. Visiting Pasig will never be the same. Rest in peace, Nanay. Say hello to the family up there for me. We love you!