She went outside the house.
Without a warning she left my mom at the breakfast table and enthusiastically went out like a child free from the restraint of the door she had been trying to open hours before we woke up.
Shakespeare once identified the seven stages of man. The last of it, is second childishness and mere oblivion, and I saw that with my grandmom. She forgets a lot, but never my name. She would replace all names with mine in different versions of it. Clearly, I know that it was not me, I politely try to correct it whenever possible. She would smile and continue her story much as she will continue inserting my name elsewhere in it.
My grandmom gets back to her childish ways. Just like this morning, she became a child when all she wanted was go outside and meet her old friends back here in our place. All of her friends were gone…up in heaven. She got back to the house still happy. Then she wanted to eat even if she had just eaten a while back. She asked about a few stuff to my mom. She repeated it for five times and five times over we repeated our answers to her queries. Mind you, the question will not end as long as the day’s not over.
Last night was wishful thinking I guess for I thought of her when a task of finding an interesting person was given to the class. That exact time, she stood in front of the door. She said she would just like to pay a visit. Truth is, she got tired of living with my aunt.
They do fight. I’ve seen it myself. She cried. A lot. It was 10 years ago since she last lived with us, but my aunt asked if grandma can stay to help her take care of her newborn, now a 10-year old kid. She took good care of all of her grandchildren. It was ironic my mom once told me. She was at her 50s and all her kids were growing up that time she told them that she will never take care any of her grandchildren. Quite the contrary, up to the possibly last grandchildren she taught so many things that even moms might forget once in a while.
Grandma, being a mom herself before, raised four kids. She was lucky enough that grandpa was genuinely kind and a loving father. However grandpa died earlier than grandma. Life was never easy even before. Aside from dividing meals for the family, her attention was also divided. She had to exert effort five times for affection and care. One thing my mom told me was that she would always welcome visitors to sleepover or stay for a while in their home with no contentions no matter how long or how many visitors will stay. She just accepts their presence much like a family member. And that was how all family friends remembered grandma and her family.
Grandma’s youth was different from how we were today. She was a teenager when World War 2 happened. My grandma was from Baler, Aurora, one of the provinces the Japanese soldiers went to during that time. For three years or more she stopped going to school. Out of her 5 brothers and sisters, 1 died during the war. Another died when her brother was just in his mid 30s because of being a victim of theft. She herself was distant to all her brothers and sisters when she was just a baby. She was given to her aunt because her mother feared that she might happen to neglect my grandma because they were all so many. My grandma stayed with her aunt and causally visited her real mom since their houses were just a few blocks away.
She went to Manila when she was in her 20s, worked as a professional nurse at the National Orthopedic Hospital, and boy she was a hell of a great nurse. Up until now I can say. One of my mom’s cousin was initially diagnosed as mentally ill because she had not been eating for days, depressed for she was away with her family (she was staying at a dorm near her school in Metro Manila, her family’s in Baler too) and she happened to suffer from a breakdown. Much of the doctors insisted that my mom’s cousin should be institutionalized and left treated there. My grandma thought otherwise. She told us that the symptoms were mild and she can cure such. She took her niece (my mom’s cousin) home and took care of her up until the time she became normal again, of course with proper medication which she knew because of her work. She believed that putting her niece in a mental hospital with such a mild case will only resort to severity of her condition. She proved it right for up until now, the girl has no memory of that incident and was never diagnosed of the same condition.
She cured me once before, not of that condition of course, but when I went home with a fracture after biking on a steep path, she cured my fracture for just days and I’m well just like before.
How do you measure a person if they are interesting? Is it when you don’t really know the person at all, or is it when you have known them all along but you happen to realize it just now? As much as I would like to tell you more of her, I still want to spend time with her for today.