I was never close to my papa's family. Yes, they lived with us when we were young but I only had a faint recollection of those days. Then, when they transferred to a separate house, we seldom go there. Maybe once a year, during New Year. I know there was tension between my mom and them...you know, in-law issues. If my father visited his family, he never told us to go with him. If we wanted to go with him, he will tell us that he will not stay there long and we can just stay at home.
A year after my Lolo died, Lola was hospitalized and we were afraid that she will soon join Lolo. Papa was telling us that malapit na si Lola. We were ready but eventually, she recovered. So every time they tell us that Lola will go soon, we will just tell them na malakas pa si Lola!
Time passed. Many things have changed. My mama eventually made amends with papa's family, especially with Lola. I think for the past year, they were visiting Lola frequently. They were also updating us of Lola's health.
We were supposed to go to my parents house last Saturday. I was also thinking of visiting Lola...but we were late. My Lola Charing, passed away last September 4 at 3am.
When I learned of the news, I hav mixed emotions. Sad because she is not with us anymore. Happy because she is reunited with our Lolo Manoling (who died 10 years ago) and with her son, Tito Pepe (who died I think 14 years ago). Also, I am happy because she is no longer in pain.
But one emotion that I feel strongly is guilt. I feel guilty because I did not spend more time with my Lola. I did not make an effort to visit her or talk to her on the phone. Oh, if I could just turn back the time!
So now, I promise to let my son be super close to my family and my husband's family. I want him to love and respect them, especially his lolos and lolas. I want that he will be able to tell his future children and apos about his family, his joyful and painful experiences with them. I do not want him to be like me, who barely knows her relatives.
Lola Charing, thank you. Thank you for teaching me to appreciate more our family. We are sad that you are no longer with us. But the thought that you are now with Lolo Manoling (maybe watching your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren =D Lola, you can now see us clearly!) lessens our pain. We will always remember you. We love you!