About a month ago, we celebrated the death anniversary of my maternal grandmother. Whenever I think of my ama, my mind often flashes back to this specific scene: my ama, sturdily climbing up the grand staircase of Makati Shangri-la Hotel, off to see me get engaged to my now husband. By then, she was already at Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and had already undergone a number of surgeries (none were effective).
For those unaware, pancreatic cancer is the Mike Tyson of all cancers: it’s hard to detect, spreads fast, and packs a mean punch that can knock you out, for good. Even if you win a round, it comes back at you roaring, until you lie down in defeat.
By this time my ama’s stomach caused her constant pain, not to mention the various aches in her body. But on that day, it was as if a miracle happened. My ama told me she felt no pain at all, and suddenly had the vigour to climb those steps, just to see her granddaughter formalize her betrothal. I like to think of it as God giving her a get-out-jail-free card, but only for a day.
I was the happiest girl in the room, and it definitely wasn’t because I looked great that day (although I did), or that the food tasted good (it did). It was also then that I realized that no one else would ever love me like that, in that way.
My ama passed away a few months after.
Life is short.
Whenever my parents ask me out to dinner and I’m knee-deep in the rat race of trying to earn money, I think of my ama climbing those steps. In the end, nothing really matters. That is, nothing really matters, except for God and family. People and relationships matter. Time matters. So I set my work aside with no second thoughts, and go off to see my mom and dad.
Here’s to my amazing grandmother, Bonifacia, for making me see what truly matters. I love you.
THE ICBB CULMINATING EXPERIENCE
My 2nd daughter, Chloe, nicknamed Coco, had her Moving Up Day in ICBB a few weeks ago. Fittingly, ICBB chose Disney Pixar’s Coco as the theme. As has been for the past 4 years, Party Magic did all the styling and set design: [Read more…]