Last October 19, our beloved Nanay passed away. She lived a fulfilling and inspirational life of 88 years.
Even though it's been hard to deal with the loss especially because we will miss her presence a lot, we're all happy for her too.
She is now in God's hands and peacefully resting in heaven and watching all over us like our guardian angel.
During the last weeks I had with her. I would playfully bug her as she sleeps. Haha
What I admire most about Nanay is her selflessness. My mom grew up under her loving care (she was taken by my grandma to be my mom's nanny) and all of us in our family (I have 4 siblings) also grew up with Nanay as our second mother. Imagine offering your entire life to help raise kids of others? It was not about the need of money for her case.. but it was because she truly loved all of us like her true children.
My most fond memory of Nanay was when I was in kindergarten, and she would always accompany me to school at UP-PAU. We would go home riding a jeep and tricycle. Before going home, we would go to the public market (palengke) to buy the ingredients for the food that she will be making / cooking for all of us. Whenever she had spare money with her, she would treat us at Mcdonald's or Jollibee. I lived a comfortable life under her care and for that, I will always be truly grateful. She might be a bit masungit or grumpy / grouchy towards others and she was not that "showy" when it comes to expressing her love for us.. but we know that she loves us so much, and we love her 100x more.
I remember her company when we were having swimming lessons during summer. Also, when we would have a family outing, she would also take care of our swimming essentials. So many precious memories that I will forever bring with me as I grow older.
Nanay with my brother, Kuya Eric.
During Kuya Mark's birthday.
Remember the previous blog entry I posted last Thursday and I wrote about leaving for Japan? Upon arriving in Japan, I had this nagging feeling inside that I must go back. After I got back, my brother and his family flew to Manila afterwards as planned. I immediately called my mom about Nanay's situation and she told me that I must book the earliest flight. Without hesitation, I looked for the flight schedule. The cheapest one-way ticket ride (PAL) was bound for Tuesday next week but it felt like... "It would be too late". After getting confirmation from my brother that I can book my flight on Sunday, I finally did. I was so relieved that I chose Sunday because there were cancelled flights on Saturday because of the typhoon in the Philippines! My flight back home had an hour-long turbulence (strong winds and all) but fortunately, the plane survived it.
After arriving, I went home and then went to the hospital to finally visit Nanay. Everyone in the family was there. My cousin who lives and works in Vietnam also flew for Nanay. My entire Japan family was there. We all cried, prayed together, and thanked her for her selfless service and unconditional love. We were also saying goodbye and reassuring her that it's okay if she must go because she was so tired and sick already. She did not have any heart-related problems but her organs were already failing. Her time was nearing.
The next day, I accompanied my mother for some Nanay-related errands. My mom was so stressed already and that day felt like it was so planned out. We went to the mall and bought a beautiful dress for Nanay (my mom got destressed for a while) .. because it was just a matter of time. Time that only God can decide.
After that, I actually did not want to witness "the last moment" with Nanay because I knew I would breakdown and become devastated. My mom had to pick up something from our house and she asked me if I wanted to be there until her last breath. I really feared that time but for a brief moment, I heard a voice inside of me that I must be there in her room with my other siblings even with my existing fear. So I went there, and we prayed the rosary for the last time. And she seemed so happy even if she could not open her eyes anymore. She could still hear us so we talked to her a lot and said everything we wanted to say. After a few minutes, the BP / life monitor (forgot the term) started to show straight lines. And we were all there surrounding her, as God finally decided that it was her time.
It was a bittersweet parting that night. A friend told and comforted me that it's better if we are the ones who would feel the loss.. rather than our loved one to be in so much pain.
No doubt that I will miss her everyday and I will always carry the loving memories in my heart as I become the woman she also envisioned me to be when I was young.
I will continue whatever legacy you wanted to leave and I will also try to be a woman of service like you are, 'Nay.
I am beyond thankful for being given enough weeks to showcase my love for Nanay from the day I left Japan last month. I will miss putting lotion on her arms and legs, caressing her forehead, feeding her with her favorite food (mashed carbonara), joking around her, spoiling her with chocolates (that she would all give to her favorite in the family, Julius), watching TV with her (even if she could not see clearly / hear that much anymore), and so much more. I will miss buying pasalubong for her whenever I would go out. I will miss our nonsense long-distance calls for the past years. I will miss a lot about her.
There was this very memorable moment I had with her during her last days before she was sent to the ICU. It felt like God gave me that opportunity for me to say everything I wanted to say to Nanay. Honestly, I am also not a very showy person when it comes to expressing my love towards family members because I don't know... I'm shy? So I try my best to express my adoration for others through gifts, letters, and actions instead. This is how Nanay and I are alike, hehe.
It was night time, and everyone went out of the house and we were left alone together. I hugged her, thanked her, kissed her, and told her how much she meant to me. And I cried beside her. Oh how much I cherished those brief minutes when I could say everything... Salamat po Nanay.
Thank you Nanay for everything. You will always be dear in our hearts.
Kai / Kailing