Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Art of Remembering...continued

Pope John Paul II has said that "in a world that denies death and does everything to hide it, it is urgently necessary to recall the inevitability of an event that is part of the history of every person."

There are so many people that I can write about here-their spirits drift in and out of world like a lace curtain blowing in the breeze. But, mostly, it's a list for me, a list of "I miss..."

 (my dad's parents-Tatay and Grandma)

I miss my mother and I miss being able to call her up on the phone or send for her to come and visit me. 

I miss my grandmother and her chattering to me in Filipino. I miss her sternness tempered with the quiet thoughtfulness shown through her gestures-such as making us her famous banana pancakes. Every grandchild that entered her humble home would make a bee line for the kitchen table which is where she would have them on a plate covered with waxed paper. None of us have been able to successfully recreate her recipe. The closest I got was using batter from my banana bread recipe. Before I reached school age, I'd be at her home when my mother wasn't home on maternity leave. As a child, the food groups that I ate were limited and lunch at Grandma's house could be 'stressful' for a small child at times. I dreaded when she made that fish soup for lunch made from small dried fish (ebi). The broth was good, but I could never get myself to eat those little fish floating around in the bowl with eyes staring back at me! I was grateful that she never hovered over me when it was mealtime. We were expected to help ourselves and wash our own dishes immediately afterwards. Which made for ditching the staring little fish when she wasn't looking all too easy. Her food pantry was like a small closet in her kitchen) mind you, the entire 3 bedroom home was perhaps 800 sq ft at best). It contained the beloved container of Girardelli's cocoa (we would make hot cocoa from this powder with hot, boiling water and the other half of our cup we would pour in condensed milk), the soda and cream crackers, the rice and miscellaneous canned goods. ALL of her grandchildren have fond memories of this pantry-which, if you were to see it, you would wonder what the big deal was as we all recall it as though it were lined in gold. In fact, my younger brother, when he bought his first home in Oakland, was thrilled because their home had a food pantry and guess what? It smelled just like grandma's! With each sibling that came to visit, he'd shove us into his food pantry with the light shut off and ask us what came to mind. Of course, we all passed with flying colors and declared that it smells like grandma's food pantry!

I miss my mother in law, Marian who passed away in August of 2011. It was particularly sad to loose her since it was to Alzheimer's-a disease that takes your loved one away long before they are gone. I miss My Uncle Teddy. I miss my Uncle Pablo. I miss Aunty Trining. Cousin Jerry. Cousin Debbie. Cousin Joanne and her husband John. Uncle Gaga. Uncle Alfredo. Cousin Margie. I miss my childhood friend, Terry Price. I miss my high school friend, Terri Oda. Oh, the list goes on and on.

I think of them all and it does seem as though the month of October that there is a thin veil between this world and that which they've gone to. That is, if you let your heart be open to this realm...

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.


Nina Baldwin said...

Hi Paula!
what a great story about your family!! I love the image of your (great) grandparents!! and I can just imagine your Grandmother's pantry!! My grandkids use my pantry to hide in!!! ...probably while they steal a couple of cookies!!
thanks for the wonderful story! it was great fun reading it!!!
luv ya!

EG CameraGirl said...

Beautiful post, a great way to remember those who have passed on.

A Cuban In London said...

What a touching post. In many ways your story echoes mine, too. I miss my grandma. That is such a beautiful photo you have there. And a rich family history, too.

Many thanks.

Greetings from London.


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