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HONORING MY MOTHER | Choices like ref magnets




AFTER nearly eleven months, despite all the ongoing covid prevention protocols in the city, we finally paid my 92-year-old father a visit. I know, I have broken my word about distancing and all, but enough of that for now, and let’s deal with it later.

Since the start of the quarantine in late March last year, I had always hoped that the whole impending isolation thingy would not be so hard on our old man.

I thought, he would understand once it has been explained to him, and that always, he would take it all in stride. After all, he lives right smack in the middle of the family compound, snug in his own mothership, in the company of my eldest brother and youngest sister.

Also, my brother before me flanks him in his own house nearby, while in another, resides the family of our late brother. In all, the merry mix of nephews and nieces, apo or grandchildren, and in-laws keep him company, even if at a safe distance. Other grandchildren still come to visit on weekends, as they only live nearby in the neighboring subdivisions.

From what I gathered, his only restriction when covid hit had been to bar him from occupying the space near the front gate where he could sit in his wheelchair and spend the rest of the day, watching people and cars pass by.

For the record, the decision to visit my pops after all these months in spite of the lockdown had passed through serious debate among us three who live in a galaxy far away. For one, I was very sure that he would surely understand if we did not come to visit at all, that is until Covid had been beaten.

Besides, we occasionally reach out through video calls. Apparently, also at this stage, the attitude of throwing caution to the winds had already left through the window, only leaving behind a scaredy and suddenly cautious old man.

However in our family of three, the main contention in our discussion had always returned to a single point: whatever reservation we had on the matter of visiting pops, it would always be a case of one or the other, Covid be damned. More importantly, the issue had never been because of other people being able to venture out and doing similar things, it plainly fell on this: to do or not to do.

So finally, while it may relatively be easy to establish a disconnect with anything of the past, in the case of family, that just simply will not apply, period. There is always be a bond that will seem unbreakable, and like a ref that will constantly need new magnets to complete it, we oblige. In the end, there’s proof in the pudding.

My father flashed out a toothy (what’s left of them rather) smile when he saw us, and calmly said, “so glad you could make it.”

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