Twenty-five (25) years. This is the longest that I’ve been in a relationship with someone. I couldn’t imagine life without her. She’s the one that I know I can always count on despite her untameable feet that always want to roam around. For about a quarter of an average person’s life, I spent this whole time watching over her and she watching over me. She’s that type who would keep looking after your daily needs immediately after she opens her eyes in the early morning. And when everything is complete, she would wake you up untiringly. She would religiously check if I am lying my back on a cold wall. Of course, she would always take care of my needs, as well as the capricious ones, whenever I am sick. For this long that I have been taken care of by someone without condition. But, 25 years seem too long for some people to be together, how I wish I could ask for more. She has taught me so much that perhaps the next 25 years of my life will always be tainted by her words, let alone the pieces of her heart. She’s Porferia, my grandmother.
If there is one thing I couldn’t hide about me is the fact that I was and still am my grandma’s boy. I literally grew up by her side. We lost her a few years ago and still to this very day I am still remembering all the great things she taught from the heart. Here are only some of them:
BE HONEST. BE STRAIGHTFORWARD.
She’s the type of a person who will not surrender. Don’t mess with her or you’ll hear it straight from her mouth the things that you should know. She could definitely put you in your place when she knows she’s right. Her words can slice you like a knife. For her, honesty is important to majority of things. She could tolerate lies here and there because she knows well how to be naughty at times but it’s not the same for the serious aspects of life like family, reputation, conviction, and faith.
I learned from her that you can save tons of time and effort if you choose to be straightforward. Just be honest and things will turn out positively in the end. She taught me that if you are doing the right thing there is nothing to be ashamed of. She’s also quick to forgive and ask for forgiveness.
KEEP MOVING. THERE’S JOY IN SIMPLE THINGS.
She loved to travel. She has a good radar for errands she’d like to keep. Each day is a “go for it” moment. She always has reason to go and visit someone, a place or anything. You know that when she’s resting in the sofa she’s most probably planning her errands for the next days. And you’ll feel it when she can’t go outside because that’s when she get all cranked up. More so, she loved to see relatives and friends. She loved to meet people and spend good time with them. She took joy in every little things she came across as she travels. She did all of it after she has finished all the house chores for all of us, especially for me.
I can still remember how happy she was having a new pair of slippers. She’s also happy getting a reward umbrella from the store. She’s happy receiving letters and gifts from friends and relatives. She smiled with great pride seeing her granddaughter sings in a large crowd. She giggled at me when I won from a local contest for the fastest doughnut eating. She showed me how to have fun, take joy, and be thankful for everything in life, especially the small ones.
LOVE YOUR FAMILY. EVERYBODY IS FAMILY.
She never forget to always remember. Whenever possible, other than making sure that we have food in our stomach, she would never fail to give us in kind (mostly cash of small amount). Even if she doesn’t have enough for herself. She’ll know when you needed something and will not wait for you to ask for it. Instead she would give it you whenever possible. That’s how I knew it’s important to keep those things she gave. And sure, I still have them.
But the more important thing is, she did care not only for us but for every person she treated as a family. She was a mother to almost everybody. She has shared our home, our lives and her heart to many of her relatives and friends. She went beyond her knowledge on how she could best help others. She said she’s already happy knowing she was able to did little help to some people. And without her exactly telling me that I should do the same, her examples were enough lessons that this is the right thing to do - that we should care for others too.
And even in death, she continuously remembered those of her departed loved ones in thoughts, stories and prayers. This maybe is the reason why I can never forget about her until my own riddance.
GOD KNOWS BEST.
We went through a lot in life and each moment in at least the first 25 years of my life I shared it with this woman. She was the only person I will not hold back my tears from. It will just flow naturally. Perhaps, because I know this person will not judge my weaknesses or me as a whole. Perhaps, because I know I will be assured by the words that “God knows best”. I just needed to hear it then and everything seems okay. I just have to hear it then and I am back on track twice tougher. I just want to hear it again.
Never a day that she wouldn’t say a prayer. She was the one who taught me to pray at night before I sleep. She would also bring me to church along with her. More than the physical daily devotions, she showed me the meaning of true faith in God. I have never heard her seriously complain about her life, she was blind and deaf to many things people say about her, the only thing she knew was to pray.
It was tough being here in this world without her but I am born in the lineage of a life and faith warrior. I have no reason to be defeated even if it hurts so deeply that she’s here only in memories. She has built a heart in me that always remember what mind could go forgetting, this is Porferia’s heart.