30 January 2007
When somebody I know dies, I'm usually affected a huge deal. Especially if death takes away someone important and special. It makes me so sad that it usually takes a long time before I finally get over it.
People would say, "Life must go on... just be strong. We will all die, anyway. All of us will someday go "there," too. They just went ahead."
Sure, I understand that. I know that we will all eventually die and that life, for us, living, must go on. I know that. But, that doesn't change the fact that for the rest of my remaining years on earth, I will never see the departed one's smile. I will never hear his/her laugh and voice. I will never feel their gentle touch. That fact alone depresses me to no end.
Two nights ago, my parents and brother came home very sad. They told us (me and my sister) that Mommy Rosie (our dad's first wife) had just passed away. I could only whisper a prayer and, for a few minutes, stare at nothing in particular. After prayers, we all went to Iligan to see her for the last time. You see, Islamic Law requires that the dead be buried within 24 hours.
When we got there, my aunts, uncles and cousins were there. My older sisters and brother (her biological children) weren't around yet. She was alone with the helper, my nieces and nephew when death came. She died peacefully in her sleep after battling with diabetes for years. I collapsed immediately in my sister-in-law's arms. I really needed a hug at that moment. I cried and cried. I couldn't touch or go near Mommy Rosie because I had my period. (In Islam, women who have their periods cannot go near or touch the dead because menstrual blood is considered unclean.) That made it more painful for me, just looking at her from a distance not being able to kiss and thank her for the last time really broke my heart.
I remember when I was in Grade School, when they were still living in MSU, I would go to Mommy Rosie's place for lunch and she'd prepare the best spaghetti. She would always play and talk to me. She would listen to my silly stories as if I were talking about matters of the greatest consequence. Up until they moved to Iligan, I was in High School (and College), she would do the same when we came for visits. She would proudly show me her plants. She had a green thumb. She would go out of her way to explain things to me when she thought I'd heard some hurtful and offensive words from people around me. I loved that about her. She'd always make me feel that she was proud of me when I had little achievements to my name. She always made me feel thankful that I had her in my life, in addition to my real mom. It was good to have two moms.
The last time I saw her was in the hospital. We hadn't seen each other for years as I stayed in Manila for a few years. Our mom brought me and my sister to see her (Mommy Rosie). When I went to give her the usual hug, she could barely see me because complications of her diabetes resulted in her almost losing her eyesight. I was so sad seeing her like that. It took a lot of courage and effort for me to stop my tears from falling. We joked a lot so we'd forget how depressing her state was at that time. We were even laughing at the nurse who could only stare at us in confusion because my sisters and I told him that we were all Mommy Rosie's children and then we also kept calling my mom, Mommy. That's normal for us. I guess it's not to other people.
I felt that Mommy Rosie was really suffering and I had a feeling that she wouldn't really last long. But, who can tell, right? So, when the news of her death came, I was taken by surprise. She was understanding as always even until her death. She couldn't have chosen a better time. She died right after a very, very important family gathering. If she died a little earlier, everything would have been messed up. This only shows what a considerate person she was.
Yes, I need to be strong. Life must go on. But, I am crying... I am crying for Mommy Rosie whom I will miss so very dearly. There is no one like her. She will never be replaced in our hearts and lives, which she touched greatly. I thank God that she was my dad's first wife. There can't be a better, kinder and nicer stepmom than she. And, her spaghetti will always be the best for me.
I love you, Mommy! Thank you po... sa lahat, lahat!