I’m not sure if it is a Roman Catholic thing or a tradition of sort in the province. People believe that a deceased person’s soul remains on Earth for forty days from the time of his death. After which, he goes to where he’s supposed to go. Today is our Mimi’s 40th day from the time of her passing. It still feels sad and I still find myself longing to see or talk to her. I’d like to believe that this day marks the time when she finally goes up to heaven to see the face of God and find peace in His Kingdom. I feel that I should share my message for her during the funeral. This tells the kind of relationship we had for as long as I can remember. This is quite long and here it goes:
Nothing is easy. No one can ever be prepared for something like this to happen. I never thought it would happen so soon. Now, everywhere I look, I see you doing either of these things: washing the water bottles to make sure they’re clean, sticking the price tag to Ninang’s store items, checking Facebook and Twitter for the latest showbiz gossip, watching your teleseryes and The Buzz, hanging at the dirty kitchen enjoying a meal of fried banana or crackers, and reading your prayer book. No matter how weak or fragile your physical body was, your spirit and attitude remained positive. You’ve fought the good fight and for sixteen years, you’ve proven just how strong you were. You went through so many surgeries, radiation and chemo therapy sessions yet you managed to put on a strong disposition. You never complained unless it was really bad and you felt the need to see a doctor.
You taught me how to get a person’s blood pressure. I’ve done it so many times to you. You trusted me with that although I ask for your confirmation if I’m getting it right. Countless times you ended up being the one listening to your own BP to make sure, until such time I finally got it right and there was no more take two. I’ve always enjoyed our conversations and I was so keen on listening to your kwentos and I remember asking you about your experience with cancer. Even your love life, we talked about all that. We’ve been buddies on your trips to the doctor. I recall those times when we would painstakingly take the train and the pedicab to Dr. Tan’s clinic in Binondo. We went to church together and we loved the Saturday mass because there were less people and we can sit inside the chapel. We went to the salon together to have our hair done and our nails cleaned. But most of the time, you asked me to clean your nails because your hands and feet are sensitive with nippers. You also trusted me with that. When I’m in your room, you would ask me to massage your feet and legs because you think I know just how much pressure you can tolerate.
Now, there’s no more 12’s or 24’s tissue paper that I would lug around while I’m on my way home. There’ll be less or no more trips to Mercury Drug or Robinsons for you to buy your medicines or just because you wanted new shoes or shirts. You loved flats! I will no longer receive text messages from you when you want me to take your BP, call the helper, tell me about the latest chismis or let me come to your room so that we can both laugh at the bad acting of some local actors. You will no longer finish your soap operas and not be able to see where Coco Martin’s career will go or when Piolo finally admits his sexual preference. I have no more buddy hating on Kris Aquino and Mariel Rodriguez. I will never forget how much you hate them. I can imagine your eyes rolling from the other side. Mimi, more than I realize, we have done so many things together. You, Mama andI were a trio when it came to visits to the doctor and short trips to the mall because you can’t take staying there and walking for a long time.
I have long since accepted that you will go ahead of us who are the younger generation but not this soon. I always shut you off when you say that you want this over and you’re tired. I just don’t want you saying those things because I believed you can outlive older people. In fact, many went ahead of you so there was hope that you wouldn’t go sooner. You said turning forty was a bonus from God. In fact, it is. Everyday of our lives is a bonus. However, you might have gotten too excited at being forty that you thought it was now okay to go. You still have not been a Lola Mimi to your grandchildren from us your nieces and nephews. You haven’t even seen your baby boy introduce a girlfriend to you.
People say that life begins at forty but your human life ended at forty. Your true and eternal life had begun instead. Nonetheless, I am thankful that your suffering is now over and you are reunited with your Creator. You may not be here to witness how our lives are going but you have become an angel that will guide us. We will never have another Mimi in this lifetime. Not now not ever. I will miss peeking through your room’s half-open door to see if you are already awake so I can stay beside you. I will miss you nagging me to organize my closet. I will miss you being in my car’s front passenger seat and complaining how hot it is. I will miss those soft and callous-free hands and feet of yours. I haven’t even cooked something special for you yet but it’s one of the good things about you. You never liked fancy food and only preferred the simplest ones like native vegetable stew or your most requested sweet and sour dilis and pancakes. Pancakes were the last food I cooked for you, the last Sunday you were with us. My list goes on, Mimi but there never seems enough time and venue for me to express this deep sense of longing to talk to you once more, to ask what it’s like on the other side or what God really looks like. I have a lot of questions for you, maybe you can tell me in my dreams. Just don’t scare me. I know you won’t. You are that lovable.
I promise I will take care of Mama and Papa for you. I will continue caring for them the way you did and the way you want them to be treated. It still feels surreal for everything went without a clue. But I guess that’s the way you wanted it. I’m sure you are now running carefree without catching your breath and feeling “hingal”. Go now in peace, Mimi. Thank you for the life you shared with all of us. Enjoy the other side and keep looking out for us. We will love you and miss you forever. Goodbye, Mimi and until we see each other again.
Mimi, I pray for your safe journey towards God’s Kingdom and may you forever live in peace with Him.