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HONORING MY MOTHER | And just like that

By Icoy San Pedro

YOU might think kids, in their hyperspace drive mode during play time, would have little comprehension at all the changes happening around them. After all, even with limited and still-developing motor skills, they tend to go full-automatic at all times. 

Almost twenty years ago, our son, about three years old then, loved to run non-stop inside my parents’ spacious house where we still lived. When we eventually transferred to our mere 36.5 square meter single in the south part of the city, he tried the same maneuver; run full speed upon entering the door, then only to be suddenly stopped by the opposite wall. We had laughed at his puzzled look. Then three days ago, my equally-hyperactive grandson who likewise as part of his routine loved to run around that same house, sped across the same living room and past, until he stopped at a now-suddenly empty corner. With the same puzzled look like that of my son’s many years ago, he exclaimed “where’s grandpa?” A social media meme I once read has said, “Crazy how the spirit knows something is wrong, before you physically see it.” But beyond all that, is the absolute reality that without any ceremony or fanfare, everything can change. Just like that.

For so many years, even when mom was still alive, Sundays had always been our time for our regular bolt-in mode at the family’s main house that we fondly called the Mothership. It did not matter where you lived, Gensan or Manila, if you were able, then Sunday was the perfect day to come visit. In them older days, while the elders indulged in Mahjongg and some of the yuppies gathered around a beer table, the growing kids ran around the yard with their own ideas of fun. When mom passed away in 07, Sunday visits became more than a traditional event for the family. Instinctively, everyone felt that our lone pilot needed more emotional support than ever, not only from us but also from the apple of his eyes, the grandkids. In the years that followed, he doted over his grandchildren, then his great grandchildren and eventually, the great-greats. For a long time, because he loved to shower them with treats and ice cream, we literally enjoyed what I would call our very own ice-cream Sundays. I even recall that during the last time, as I bid him goodbye, I added that I couldn’t get near because it wasn’t good idea. Then, just when the continuous string of weekend joys had seemed to stretch on despite limitations set by the pandemic, he was gone. Just like that.

  1. The day before last was a hot Sunday and a few of us had gathered at his house again. One of the grandies kidded me, “now that you’re the eldest, maybe you should continue with the Sunday treats of ice cream.” I thought, if it were a simple slide into authority or position, I would never have any qualms about the whole Sunday as being as sweet. But, thinking back all those reunion weekends that we have had for so many years, how does one simply step into his shadow? This time it’s not just like that.
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