“Lolo, hagod mo ko sa ulo.” the very words my sister and I used to say to my Lolo way back when we were still young. Everyday, at around 11 in the morning till 12:30 noon, we, including my parents and my grandparents would all have lunch in one, big round table in our dining room in manila. Praying was one of the many things my Lolo taught us. Eating while discussing different subjects is one thing they always do way back then, usually my sisters and I ( I have two older sisters Rhonadale and Pamela ) will just sit, eat and stare at the adults as they talk to each other with us not knowing what they are talking about. My Lolo, raised by his half Spanish half Filipino parents, is very strict when it comes to our conduct at the dining table. We cannot wear sando when in front of the table. We have to sit properly otherwise we would get a dressing down.
After lunch we have different roles to play like washing the dishes, sweeping the floor and wiping the table. After which I would always sleep beside either my Lola or my Lolo. I usually pick my Lolo because he would comb my hair with his hand until I fall asleep.
As years passed, Lolo grew older. However, even if he is already on his early to mid 90’s, he still can wake up early in the morning, make a cup of hot chocolate for the three of us and walk me to school. At such an age, one cannot do things my Lolo can. He can go to church every Sunday to attend mass. He can go to the market to buy food. He can even go to his friends. At night, he will set down his folding bed while I lay down at the sofa beside him.
From Singalong to Parañaque to Las Piñas- we transferred from one house to another. Years filled with memories passed with my mama deciding to got to the Middle East every now and then to take care of my Papa who happens to work there. Last 2007, with my Lolo lying on his folding bed, Mama went to say goodbye to him, “Wait for me ha, I’ll return on your birthday I promise okay?” My Lolo raised his head and looked at my mom as she left his room. As soon as my mama left, my Lolo went downstairs and asked me if my mom had already left. I simply answered yes. Tears running from my Lolo’s cheeks made me cry also. Nobody thought that it would be the last time my Mama would get to kiss my Lolo goodbye.
Hours to days, days to weeks, and weeks to months. August 11, 2008, an accident occurred. My Lolo slipped while trying to get up from his bed. We were called by my Lola to attend to my Lolo’s bruises and wounds. We applied some first aid to his bruises and wounds. The accident, however, made my Lolo weak thus preventing him from walking and standing.
September 2, at around 6:30 in the morning, I woke up, ate my breakfast, took a quick bath and went to buy something for the computer shop where I worked. Before I left the house my sister called me and asked me to take a look at our Lolo because he has not moved an inch since she last passed by his bed. “Go and get dress, your going to be late for work”, I told her. I took a quick look at my Lolo and checked if he still has a pulse. Sensing that he still has a pulse, I picked him up to lay him properly on his bed. On my way to the mall I received a call from my sister telling me to come home immediately for Lolo is gone. I went home as fast as I can. When I reached home I saw my Lolo in his room lying on his bed the way I left him- his mouth and eyes were open but now with no life. My Lola cried together with my wife and my sister. Lolo left us but he left us happy. Maybe he left us because he already completed his job here with us.
Years will pass but the legacy of my Lolo will continue to live-his love, his support, his care, his memories.
In our hearts your memories will live forever.