I will remember your smell. The smell of Johnson’s baby powder on your body. The whiteness of your hair, always cropped short. How you loved watching Villa Quintana but got disappointed on how it ended.
I will remember you counting your 25-centavo coins and my whoop of joy when you would finally hand me 4 of those coins after much begging and cajoling. It was the 80s and I was still a kid. One peso could buy me my afternoon snack.
I will remember you bringing that piece of bread with a red palaman when you got back from the market. That was my favorite pasalubong from you. And the sereguelas and lomboy during the summer of my childhood.
I will remember your toothless smile when I would come home to visit. You would follow it with your palm opened upward, asking for money. I would laugh and hand you five P20 bills. Hours later, when you would see me again you would smile and open your palm upward. I would laugh and tell you I have given you my money. Then you would laugh.
I will remember you asking me when I was going back to Manila the first time you would see me whenever I would come home for a visit. I will remember you asking me when I was coming back again to visit when I was going to leave for Manila. I will remember the last time you asked me that. It was March of this year. I remember I told you I was coming back in December. I remember I told you I hoped to see you then.
But God has other plans. Finally, you are with Him now. Devoid of the pain you suffered on your last days. Rest in peace now. Say hi to Tita for me when you see her.
Goodbye, lola. Thank you for sharing three decades and one year of you with me. I will miss you.