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HONORING MY MOTHER | Of rhymes and reason




EVERY night before dinner, our fam of three always offers our own personal prayers that more or less wraps up the day.

The gist of our bolt-in prayer mostly gives thanks to all that had transpired and then always ends with a fervent wish that the people who make it possible for us to continue on with our relatively normal lives are likewise safe, protected and healthy, as we have been made to be because of their sacrifices.

In those nightly thank-yous, however, I have never failed to include in my little prayers, the health, protection and safety of the little children in the clan. The rest of course is in my prayers too, but special mention always goes to all those who comprise our next-gen.

As I have written about so many times already, we have quite a large family. It made me realize that, by listing down everyone starting from the level of lolos and lolas, then to our parents’, down to us siblings and our first degree cousins, the significant number that remains below us are the young adults and children, with forty-one at the last count. Of our twenty nephews and nieces, nine already have kids so that the two generations already make up more than half of the clan.

I totally get it now, why my father always likes to say, ‘I must be a bad person, why am I the only one left?’ After our grandparents, he’s the only one left on his floor. Even most of his old bffs have already gone. While that’s sad in itself, if everyone looked long and at such introspections by an old man, deep down you’d know you’re also going down that road and it’s only a matter of when. I’m there now, and this is not even a reflection. Darn.

So, on the day-to-day, the road may seem like a long straightaway, and the feel is generally like you’re just coasting. A drift or two at some unexpected corners might make the road trip exciting at times perhaps, but on the whole, the truth is I do not pay it any mind anymore. My attention at this moment falls back to my fellow passengers in the car of life, our children and their younger ones.

Us oldies, we’ve practically done our turn at life travel, their adventures are just beginning and if I can, I like to watch, feel the same happy feeling as they enjoy them. As a friend doc had long said, see the world as your children see it, from their own perspective.

So I have always wondered what’s on my father’s mind as he sits in his rocking chair nowadays while little feet run around without a care in the world. Most often now, I do not detect the once-glimmer in his eyes that hint at a hidden smile. I know it is still there.

Once in a while though, waking up from a brief reverie, he might ask who’s making all that ruckus? But just as quickly, he’d go back to sleep, as though in the car. In a brief instant like short lighting up in a cloud before a rain, a toothless smile might escape that passive face. Still, something to see if one looked long enough. This is why, in his stead, I’m not about to miss the din made by this next-gen.

“Scoot down the road, what’s my number? I wonder how your engines feel?
Shine a light…”

Baby Driver, Paul Simon

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