The death of a grandma and an unexpected offer I will never forget—this week was quite a long week.
Lola (Grandma) Dolores or Loling as she was fondly known, is the eldest sister of grandpa (lolo) and possibly one of the most productive person I know personally. She was never married but she hasn’t denied having had a relationship before. She passed away Monday, 14th of April, the same day as the birth anniversary of my father.
I haven’t seen Lola for quite some time already. But when she was still able to visit us especially on the first few months when she was brought here, she would come to the house to do anything but relax. She was still a workhorse at eighty-seven. I do not know if the truth of her being single had anything to do with it.
Most of my younger cousins would often call me Loling. Because at thirty, I am the only cousin they know who has never been in any relationship. They would say I would grow old a spinster like Lola, or possibly die with the same fate.
I have become accustomed to family and kins calling me that way. I don’t budge. “I’d rather stay single than end up in a bad relationship”, always was my sudden retort. But to be honest, at the back of my head, I was considering what life would be without a partner to grow old with, like Lola.
Besides everyone, only my two young nephews have pointed out on me to never get into any relationship, ever. Andre- seven and Francois- my four-year old nephew who seem to never run out of reasons why I should stick to their advice. These are only two of the four nephews and nieces I may have to ask a leeway with once the fateful time would come, should it come to me in this lifetime.
In a time like this when families and relatives gather together to celebrate and reminisce the life of the deceased, the truth of me being single at this age will always be brought up to discussion—among family members, friends and even relatives I would only see once in several years like my second-degree cousins in Toledo. Again, I would laugh at the thought of people making so much fuss about it. But really, I don’t bother.
While I was fighting the urge to get too emotional about my Lola’s passing, I cannot help but feel a little downhearted as we are now left with only one grandparent to take care of, my Lolo Teban. The good thing while I was fighting this war at home, work has not aided to make this moment more depressing.
Since everyone is excited about the incoming team-building trip to Palawan, I stayed silent and kept mum about some personal issue. I am excited as well about what awaits us there. I am grateful for the BOD for granting us this privilege the management has fought over a year since. Also, for letting other staffs join us, instead of the only nine members of the management. While the air of excitement ensues, another blessing came to surprise me last Wednesday. And although I declined the promotion that was offered, it feels great to know that your efforts are seen and acknowledged.
I am stubborn, an overthinker, a worrywart most of the times. To partially put my worries to rest, I plan. It’s my innate nature to always plan ahead and reconsider the consequences of things. I guess that says a lot about introverts and basically why I head the planning department as of the moment.
At a time when I am already an inch away to letting go of what I have, I stumble upon this letter whom the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo wrote to her daughter, Aika. His words came timely while I am baffled as to how to deal with my chosen career— while I struggle to put an end to this battle of trying to do anything while putting other’s welfare before my own.
I mourned the dead but in another, I celebrate a rebirth of fresh goals to keep me going for another year.
Perhaps, the late Secretary was right… or maybe I am just a coward.