Up in the Air

My parents have been doing a lot of traveling in the last few months.

In November, they won a cruise vacation. It sounded like a relaxing way to explore the western coast of Mexico. My dad brought back several bottles of tequila and snapped some beautiful pictures at sea. Together – they had plenty of good food, bright sunshine and warm memories.
Relaxing at Sea

Now – they’re somewhere over the Pacific. This journey has brought together my mom’s side of the family.

On Board

In the Philippines, they will sample some amazing fresh fish and other dishes that you can’t find here in the States. They will hug nephews and nieces who have outgrown their elementary school uniforms and who are now trying on the shoes of adulthood. They will sing along to sentimental songs in Tagalog. They will laugh over absurd family gossip. And, I’m sorry to say, they’re hearts will break as they say good-bye to the woman who made it all possible.

My Lola passed away last week. May she rest in peace.

Lola's House
Nearly a decade ago, I met my Lola at this nipa hut. My Auntie opened the gate and let us inside her little home. I remember her rubbing my back as I crouched down in front of her wall. There – my brother and I grew-up in yellowing photographs. From the medal stand to the piano, she knew where we came from. She also knew we would eventually find our way back to her.

That night – my Tito’s family cooked fried milkfish, chicken adobo and other tasty dishes you can’t find on this side of the Pacific. My Lola got out of her seat and swayed to the music blaring on the TV. She was sipping a bottle of San Miguel. She wanted to go out and go dancing.

Spirited, loving and celebrating life. I will remember my Lola like this: enjoying her family and looking forward to our next visit home.

1 thought on “Up in the Air

  1. Ramon Vera

    Very nicely said, your words about your Lola, I saw the tears in your mom while she’s reading your blog.

    The way they said goodbye to her was very impressive, from the nights that the neighbors and relatives stayed all night to keep her company, several vigils were said for her soul, few card games were played to stay up, it was very comforting to know that she was well loved in her hometown.

    And on the final day, the miles that were walked from their home, to the church and then to her final place was very solemn, people did not mind the humid, hot conditions under the sun, it was well worth it, so glad I went and witness the whole thing and to give support to your mom and aunts.

    The last time I went home was when I took you and your brother separately, when you guys were in still in grade school (too many years ago?). I enjoyed it then and now. The food as you said is still amazingly tasty and fresh, especially the fish and vegetable and you’re right you cannot find them here on this side of the Pacific.

    I also got to meet the nephews and nieces who like you mentioned have outgrown their elementary uniforms, the way they turned out as adults are again very impressive, very corteous, and loving.

    Thanks again for the kind words.

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