It is with sadness and tears in my eyes, that I would like to inform everyone that our dearest Manang Lydia passed away last December. She died because of a vehicular accident when she was on her way to attend Simbang Gabi in her hometown in Samar.
At first, I could not and did not want to believe it really happened. I cried myself to sleep that night and cried the whole day in bed the next day, our 3rd wedding anniversary.
She could not just die. She has so many dreams for her family. She has many talents that she has not taught me. She has not given me the recipe for the siomai that we have been trying to perfect. She hasn’t heard Aki say Payyyyyys (surprise!). She is only 40 years old. She has 4 biological and 2 adopted kids. She does not have a lot but she gives and gives and gives. She promised to come back and take care of me when I give birth to my next child. She’s active in their church. She could not just die. Not that way. Not now.
If you have been reading my blog, you’d know that she was not just an employee. We love her and treated her like family. The last time we talked which was November, she said she’d coming back this January. Maybe, if she woke up late that fateful morning and decided to miss the mass, she would probably be here in with us. Or maybe, she could have just went back to Manila a few weeks earlier and attended the Simbang Gabi here instead. I could have had a partner in potty training Aki.
I think about and worry about her family too. When we last talked, I semi scolded her for not telling me that Elmer, her husband had been sick and needed medication. Her dream for Angela, her eldest, if for her to finish HRM and work for the restaurant of her cousin in Japan. As for Ella, Manang wants her to pursue her daughter’s dream of being part of the police force. For Jeffrey, her only son, Manang wanted to buy a small piece of land. Can someone who has so many dreams, who has many dependents, who is active in church and in the community, die just like that?
Oh well, I try not to think about her death and just try to think about how she was when she was alive.
I remember her everyday. All the time.
I remember her every time I look at my roses. I was supposed to replace them with other easier-to-maintain plants. We have somewhat neglected the roses ever since Cheryl left. The plants did not flower for around 2 months. But, on the week, Manang became and angel, one of the plants bloomed a very red rose.
I remember her every time, I go to my in-laws’ house and see the make shift basketball ring that she made. Aki received three rings and managed to ruin all 3 of them in just a matter of days.I told Manang to throw the rings away. Instead of following my request, she took one of the rings to my in-laws and attached it to the gate so Aki can play basketball anytime.
I remember her every time it rains or when the sun is high. She fixed my umbrella without me asking her to.
I remember her every time I see the DIY hook that she made so we can use the beams in the roof of service area, as sampayans.She is always been like that. Very proactive and resourceful.
I remember her every time I see our ampalaya and papaya plants. These were the last plants that she planted.
I don’t know how to end this post so let me just narrate how I told Aki. I did not tell him immediately because I was not sure if he understands what death is. When we were in Elbi for my Tito Ben’s siyaman (9th day deathsary. He died 2 days before Manang did), Aki got to watch Lion King. I slept early that night and learned that he enjoyed the movie even though he slept midway. When Simba’s dad fell of a cliff and died because of the stampede, Aki shouted “Dadeeeee”. The scene made Aki sad. So the next day, I told Aki that Manang passed away. This was our conversation.
Me: Aki, si Manang, patay na. Pray tayo ha.
Aki: Tay. (Patay)
*bows his sad frowning face for a second or two and then looks at me with a curious and concerned expression on his face*
Aki: Pakan?? ( Naapakan?)