I don't know about you but my start of the year has been a complete whirlwind of emotions. From the wedding of the century to a complete 360 weeks after.
My sisters' wedding was the event I looked forward to the most and well besides the fact that I was going to be reunited with my gown, ha-ha! Kidding aside, the wedding was a success and having everyone there was just the cherry on top of it all. I was glad my best friends were there, so was Kenzo and of course my Lolo Abe.
I made a last minute (because we all know how much I love to work under pressure, literally made it right after the ceremony) maid-of-honor speech and thankfully that turned out swell. I think the highlight of the night was when I introduced Kenzo to my Lolo. The huge smile on his face was an indication of his approval. I will never forget the day after the wedding, I walked into my grandpa's hotel room, and he gave me this big 'ol laugh saying the words, "Gwapo ah!" translation // "Handsome ah!" // He just wouldn't stop laughing and we just talked for a bit about how he loved living the "hotel life"! He was so happy and of course he looked exceptionally dashing with his barong tagalog on + leather shoes. I miss his laughter, thinking about it just makes me want to cry.
You see my Lolo was the ultimate chain smoker, he was diagnosed with emphysema 10 years ago and has battled with it since. He used to sleep in my room, which I didn't mind, and I remember how he'd apologize about taking up all the space. Of course, that didn't matter to me because he was my grandpa. I remember how he'd cry each Christmas and New Year, being thankful for making it another year and for all the blessings he has received. I remember how he'd tell all his apo's to pray for him in times when he needed it the most. It has been such a routine for my siblings and I to come down from our rooms to greet our lolo a Good Morning or a Goodbye when we had to go somewhere. Greeted with that beaming smile just made each morning a good one.
Weeks after the wedding my lolo got confined at Asian Hospital with pneumonia. We celebrated his birthday at the hospital on January 23, 2012. We then had him moved to Makati Med and was placed at the ICU. I thought it was just one of those days where in a few weeks after for sure he'll come back home and things will be back to normal, but of course I was wrong. I think a part of me was denying the fact that it was getting serious, a part of me believed that he was strong enough to snap out of it like he did before. I went to Makati Med every night after class to say hello and to hold his hand despite him not being able to talk due to his respirator. I remember applying lotion to his skin to ease his dry skin, it was painful to watch him suffer like this. On the 6th of February, before leaving for home I wished him a Good Night and said I love you. I bid him unknowingly my final farewell and a kiss on his head. This was the last time I saw him alive and I'm glad I got to say I love you one last time.
My lolo died on the 7th of February, which was Kenzo's birthday as well. I had to sprint out of class but got caught in traffic so I didn't make it. I got a phone call saying he'd already pass and next thing I know tears just start streaming down my face. I got down the car, ran to the fourth floor and hugged my brother. When I got to his room I hugged my body so close and tight to him. His body was warm, like he was sleeping. He looked smaller than usual but peaceful. It's been a long battle lolo, thank you for holding on as long as you could. Thank you for being a part of all the important days of my life. I hope you're happy with lola, wish I got to meet her.
I'm sorry I didn't get to see you that day, no more short breathes big guy. I miss you dearly, till we meet again gwapo.
"You are my sunshine my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray. You never notice how much I love you, please don't take my sunshine away."