Old Times and Old Timers

I had a rather serious conversation with a cousin of mine today. Nothing out of the ordinary except that she really went out of her way to find the time so that we could talk, not just over the phone or chat over the internet. It was about family matters, ours in particular, and by family I mean the entire family tree, with all the branches and twigs included, even the fruits that fell off the tree.

I couldn’t help but feel saddened by what we talked about, how some things have changed and more importantly, how some people have changed as well. Without going into details, I felt that this was a conversation long overdue. And one of the things we talked about was our grandparents, God bless their souls, specially grandma’s, who of late has not been in the best of health. We promised to find a way to find time for her as she bid me goodbye and promised that we’ll talk again soon.

After she has left I find myself alone and it was then that I remember once dropping by a friend’s place. She didn’t expect my arrival, naturally since I didn’t tell her about it. She hates surprises. But I wasn’t there to visit her, it was actually because her aunt asked me for some medical advice, and like any good doctor would know, it is always best to see the patient firsthand before making any diagnosis and dishing out treatment.

Upon arriving I was greeted by the now familiar and warm welcome, even though I haven’t been there for quite some time, due to a rather busy schedule (yes we all have that same excuse, don’t we?). In the course of my stay, I learned that her grandfather got stung by an insect of some sort and that the site seemed infected. I gave my opinion on the medications that were already started on and gave my own suggestion for all its worth. I approached him and tried to make sense of the things he was saying, as most of the words he spoke were simply incomprehensible to me. He held to my hand, and all the while my friend’s grandmother asked me questions I too know not the answers. Questions like why did this have to happen to him? He was such a good man she would say as tears flowed from her eyes, all the while I find my own vision becoming misty as well. In a few short months later, this man who held my hand and looked me in the eyes with child-like innocence would later fall ill, and I was asked to watch over him as well. But eventually his illness worsened and later still, took away his mortal body as his spirit went up to the heavens, where we would like to believe, is looking down at us from above.

I don’t have a grandfather of my own anymore. My paternal grandfather died as a result of a vehicular accident when I was in high school and suffered from a subarachnoid hemorrhage. My maternal grandfather on the other hand passed away because of cancer during my last year in med school. The saddest part was that I wasn’t there for the wake and funeral. But I put that in the past now. Along with a lot of other things I wish I could also bury underground.

During my conversation with my cousin, she said that my uncle, his dad, would find solace by visiting our grandfather’s grave and asking him to guide him in the difficult decisions he has to make.

In the light of the things that happened today, I still look for lessons in the passing of those who have come before us and I have come to conclude that the dead have it so easy. It is the living that must endure.

We have to continue on living.

We have to continue to endure.

~ by allen mallari on October 5, 2012.

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