I cried last night.
I was watching the evening news when they featured a story on grandmothers doing a pageant thing. It brought such sharp memories of my Lola that I teared up. She died of pneumonia last August at age 73.
My Lola loved to dress up and was an active participant of many a parish festivity. She even became a proud Ginang ng Parokya at one time. Of course, that was for the benefit of the indigent parishioners.
My Lola was an avid taker of social and political issues that it was a long standing joke between us that she should have been the UP student and not I, her erstwhile politically disinclined granddaughter.
But, she was much, much more than the rally organizer, striding activist, and barangay official. She was, above all else, our beloved Lola. Our staunch supporter, our NO. 1 fan, and our family's champion.
I don't know how else I can describe her, except that, none of her family members, from her children, sons and daughters-in-law, grandchildren and great grandchildren would not have been well and good today if not for her.
I am able to walk unaided today because of her. She paid for my leg operation. I finished college with a great deal of help from her. My brother is alive today because of her. She paid for his huge hospital bill when he was attacked by unknown assailants when he was in his teens. My father did not go blind because of her. She helped pay for his eye operation and supported us when he was unable to work because of it. All of her relatives and her friends have in one way or another been helped by her.
She was a fighter and I have always looked up to her. When she became seriously ill last January, it was really hard for me to accept it. When she miraculously came out of it and went home, I could not bring myself to see her suffering. I seldom went to visit her and I deeply regret that now.
But I love her and I know she knew that. Though we wanted for her not to suffer anymore, the sadness, the pain of her loss is still there.
Don't worry, Lola. All that you've taught me by example I have taken to heart. I will always put my family first before anything. I will work hard and value my career. And, always I will put my heart to anything I've set myself to do. Just like you did.
We know we'll be okay because you'll be looking after us from up there. Like you always do. Thank you, Lola.