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HONORING MY MOTHER | House of spirits

By Icoy San Pedro

RECOLLECTIONS of any old home where one had spent most of their childhood days lives on forever, not only in memories but in dreams as well. For me, this is perhaps the very reason why I still remember in great detail my grandparents’ old wooden house along Ponciano Reyes Street. This was where my siblings and I grew up and played although only two of the nine of us brothers and sisters had not been born there. So, it is no surprise at all that whenever I dream with that old house as the setting, my travelogue in all its rooms is always a vivid experience even up until now. Each of those dreams always takes me back right to the earlier times when the house was still standing, before finally being replaced with drab and modern office buildings sometime during the 80s.

Meanwhile, as I now look about my departed parents’ house in Belisario where our grown nieces and nephews, along with our grandchildren and their newborn babies, now presently assemble for a weekend birthday party, I know that for them, this house is considered the ancestral home. After all, while my fond memories lie elsewhere in old Ponciano, it is here, in this old compound and main house (which we dub the mothership) where their combined childhood memories first took root and comfortably rest. Though stacks of photo albums hidden somewhere in this house may still provide a record their growth from being babes to the present-day adults, it’s really the ghost-like memories that give the faded snapshots their worth and meaning.

Even as both our memories of childhood dwell in totally different times and ancestral abodes, what matters more is the ones we share here and make at present as we continue to weave as a clan. Pretty soon, even the youngest among us will have realized that the physical  and tangible remnants of our being here is without doubt, no match to saving them as parts of our precious memories.

As time goes by, while a number of us and those whom we love naturally pass on, they do not merely go into nothingness and be forgotten. Instead, they move in to that special space in each our memories and to dwell in the true ancestral home where there is no sadness. Throughout all this interplay of life and death, one such comforting thought is that surely, they eagerly wait to welcome us on the other side when it is our time to go venture into our house of spirits. While once, we were welcomed into this world as babes, so it shall be again.


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