I am alone in the house. I remember my mom. I miss her. I miss my brothers. I miss my dad. I miss everyone and I miss our Sunday videoke, going to movie house then having dinner on our favorite pizza parlor in Cubao.
It’s been 8 years since my mother died due to cervical cancer. It was in 2004, January 20, Tuesday morning. I stopped going to school so I can help the family since my Father and my elder brother have to continually work for the family and also to support my mom’s needs. It was never tiring, to take care of your mother who took care of you your whole life. It really breaks my heart to know that she cannot hold on to more than a year for us to be ready. It was very sudden. She wasn’t able to see me know—a person who is an expert in hosting ranking.
My mother is a meticulous person that even when she’s already gone, the house has to be cleaned because she might got angry, every furniture and figurines has to be on their places, the kitchen has to be neat. I remember it so vividly at my mother’s wake; we have to clean the house and the garage whenever a person leaves. No one played cards or mahjong outside the house as she doesn’t like any form of gambling. Her wake was so peaceful that we just played Christina Aguilera, Martin Nievera, and Carpenters’ songs whole day.
The days went so fast, as we have to face the reality. We didn’t mind having dining table again after our very old dining table broke few months before she died. Because no matter what happened we will never be complete again. But how am I going to face the fact that I was never close to my father as he was always out of the country and/or out of town. I cannot remember I celebrated my birthday with him. But I have to be a good son to my father.
My father called me when I was cleaning the house months after the internment, he was sober. We went to the masters’ bedroom. It was quiet. No one was talking. I sat beside him and heard him sobbing. It was my first time seeing him like that. Without looking at him and just by feeling what he feels. I cried. My father misses my mom so much. He told me a story about her and what she was telling him while she was in the hospital. I cannot control the tears falling on my face. It was so hard to cry with a person whom you’ve never cried with before. But what’s more painful is to see a father crying his heart out.
I have to fulfill my promise to my mother that I will look after my brothers and my Dad. That no matter how hard it is to face the reality that she’s already gone. I must do it with all my might. I want to make her happy because I know that she is always looking after us too.
I tried to forget everything, and that I was never my Fathers favorite. That he always scolds me because I am not doing any good with class. That I have dropped my Engineering subjects and planned to shift to a Mass Communication course. It was so hard to talk to him and convince him that I am not made to be an Engineer. That I was so sorry that I cannot fulfill his dreams for me.
Years pass by, we have taken all the chances we’ve got to make and have a good family. It was our decision to give him what he wanted. He remarried to a younger woman and rent a place in Pasig. My elder brother married and owns a house in Marikina. I worked in BPO industry and rented a place in Quezon City. My two younger brothers were left in our house in Marikina. It was fair for all of us to be afar from each other so we can have more time to think for what is good and what’s the best for us.
We’ve grown matured and think of each other as part of one’s self. We’ve helped each other to be strong and to be dependent. We’ve become a better person to have, if not the best, a better family.
December 2008, days before Christmas Eve, I went home and stayed for good. I miss my family. I miss my mother and I miss our house. It was like the old times. I prepared food for my brothers. I cleaned the house. I have to make things look beautiful. I am waiting for my elder brother and my Dad before the time clicks at 12 midnight. I have this feeling that we will never be complete again. My father arrived before Christmas with our step-mother but not my elder brother.
It was so heart-breaking celebrating every occasion, every year without a complete family. But we’ve been used to it. But what’s important is we’ve grown as a better individual and as a better man. A man who knows how to forgive and forget, and give every person a second chance. A chance on making things better for the sake of saving a family.