Saturday, October 06, 2012

The Art of Remembering...


(one of the many shrines that was on exhibit at the South Broadway Cultural Center)


I've reached that age in my life where there are too many names on my list of those who have gone before me. And, as I continue to get older, that list will inevitably grow longer at a faster rate. And, it doesn't get any easier to say goodbye.

My grandfather died when I was only four years old. His funeral was a BIG funeral. Everyone in our village was there for it. Most of us don't have many things we remember about being four years old. But, I distinctly remember my grandfather's funeral. Especially at the graveyard. The priest saying prayers. Everyone gathered around the hole that was dug. The coffin being lowered in to the grave. The flowers and everyone ceremoniously throwing a handful of dirt onto the coffin. Such a strong memory.

By the time I was born, my grandfather was already suffering from an illness. He was bedridden and my grandmother took care of him. She would massage him with wintergreen oil/rubbing alcohol. So, my memory of Tatay (that's what we called him which is Filipino for grandfather), was of him being in bed or a wheelchair (in that teeny tiny house). I don't even remember him having a voice or saying anything. Isn't that odd? He seemed to always be silent. Before he got ill, he was a formidable man-tall in stature and big on influence.

I wonder how it would have been had he not been ill when I was born. Would I have known him better and had a stronger impression of who he really was? I will never know, but I do remember that he was the first to pass.

Every weekend throughout the month of October, a group of us actively practice the art of remembering by way of a post. Stop by our host's site, Rebecca. An amazing woman with an amazing heart and soul. From her site, you can visit others who have done a post in regards to the art of remembering-you can see how each of us approach the subject. I think you will find it heartwarming and full of positive, loving energy.


9 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Moving memories and thoughts for the day, Paula. Thanks for sharing!

rebecca said...

dear paula,
your memories are strong enough to transport me to your four year old side. it is interesting that you remember your grandfather as having never spoken. there is something profound and almost spiritual about this. somehow it does not convey that he was frail or sickly but instead that he was wise, strong, and reflective. thank you for returning to recuerda mi corazon, to share the honor of remembering.

Gloria said...

Hi Molokai, hope you are doing well. I loved your remebrance and I too say that it is very interesting that you remeber you GF not speaking. You really felt his spirit. Very nice memories. Thank you for sharing.

gma said...

4 years old is such an impressionable age. You have held that memory for a long time.
A special remembering.

Scrappy Grams said...

I'm glad that you have memories of him. I think grandparents are important in a child's life. I like the idea of remembrance being a tradition.
I was only 3; it was my great-grandfather. The only memory I have of him was his sitting up in a dark wood bed. The headboard was tall. His bedroom was up some big stairs. I have no recall of the rest of the house.
Savor your memories and share them both orally and written.
~hugs~

HOOTIN ANNI said...

My grandmother on my father's side died when I was young. And both my grandparents died from my mother's side...again when I was young. I don't remember much about either...but I do remember my mother's parents HOME. Isn't that odd?

Now my dad's dad lived to be 97...so I remember him profoundly and each time he'd come to visit it was a box of chocolate covered cherries for me. Even Bud got a chance to meet him before he died.

I felt a warm glow overcome me with your memories today. Your long-held memories of your ancestors at the age of four brought not only tears, but a time for me to reflect and remember also.

BLOGitse said...

What a beautiful way to remember....
My grandparents have been gone almost all my life...

A Cuban In London said...

I know what you mean. It does get tougher when it comes to saying goodbye. At the same time I would like to believe that mortality becomes less of a foreign concept to all of us. We get more used to the idea of death. But being more accustomed to it doesn't mean we're more comfortable.

Beautiful post. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Chubskulit Rose said...

I am out of topic here Paula.

I just want to get back from your comment on my Manok entry lol. I did not know that you have Filipino root in you. The stew you are talking about is Tinola, my husband and kids love it too when I make it here.

I may have to invite you to come to our home one day hahaha.

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