Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memento Mori (A Repost)

I was silently admiring the orchids of your mom while you were off and about rummaging through her things. Some of them were in bloom, painting the simple garden with vivid shades of violet, magenta, and ochre. It's not easy to coax an orchid to bloom, much less have several of them sprout at the same time. I couldn't help but think, "What a beautiful and impressive sight!"


The journey back wasn't easy for you and your kuya, that I'm sure of. You had a lot of things running through your mind, so I just let you talk and listen to whatever ramblings that crossed your thoughts. A faint smile even crossed my lips when you showed me her i.d. It was amusing to be regaled with the vignettes of how you were growing up, and how it was related to your present relationship with your mom. I knew it wasn't an everyday thing that you did this, and I was privileged to see and enter another facet of you which I knew you weren't really keen on showing.


The sun had barely risen in the dawn sky when you came back to the car where I was waiting the whole time. There was not a cloud in sight, a herald of a good day in contrast to the gloomy weather that pervaded the past weeks or so.

"Wala na si Nanay," you said to me quietly as you approached me.

I blinked once, twice. I couldn't comprehend what you said immediately.


"Wala na si Nanay," you said once again, still softly.

All I could see was the far-away look in your eyes. There was a surge of emotion within me, and I felt I had to hug you right then and there.

We lit a cigarette at the edge of the hospital compound while I silently kept you company.

"Kumusta ka na?," I asked at one point.

"Okay naman. Mabilis, pero ganun talaga."

Then, you paused.

"Wala na akong masungit na ina."

At that point, I didn't know what my appropriate response should be: hit you on the nape, laugh out aloud, or shed a tear.

Instead, I muttered, "Gago ka talaga."

And you replied with a wan smile.


I never had a chance to tell you this when I was there: all I could think about while looking at your mother's orchid garden was you. It may be hard to make an orchid bloom, but the sight of even a single flower is well worth the rocky effort of tending it.

You are your mother's orchid garden.

And she's one proud gardener with how beautiful the orchid garden turned out to be.


  1. I remember reading the original post, and the feeling of sadness that came over me when your friend simply said "Wala na si nanay."

    And then came the wistful, poignant rejoinder "Wala na akong masungit na ina." I almost teared up then.

    I guess because even when they drive us up the wall and sometimes even make our lives completely miserable, we will miss our loved ones when they are gone.

  2. i remember this post. it's still as moving as when i first read it.

  3. Soltero: thank you :)

    Ruddie: i don't even know how i was able to write this, considering i just typed away the moment i got home, exhausted ad sorely lacking sleep.

    and yes, i remember your original comment ;)

    Engel: my beloved friend, whom i wrote this for, texted me out of the blue one day saying thank you.

    i asked him why.

    he said he was rummaging through his things, and he saw the printout of this piece that i gave him during the wake.

    moments like these are the ones i would ever trade anything in the world for :)

    Alter: hmmm hug and pat lang? hahahaha

    Coño: waaaaaa bakit na naman???

  4. aw nalungkot naman ako dun. my misunderstanding kami ngayon ni mama and this post made me realize some things.. :(

  5. shet.... kumusta naman at umiiyak ako ng nakangiti....

  6. Jp: moms will always be moms. she's the only one you're got ;)

    thanks for passing by and leaving a comment! :)

    Yj: impeyrniz, very andi eigenmann ang emote mo! lolz

  7. You are your mother's orchid garden.

    And she's one proud gardener with how beautiful the orchid garden turned out to be.

    Nakakainis ka, teh. Di sana ako magko-comment, but this entry fuelled the drama I felt today.

    Maldita ka!



  8. dear caridad,

    salamat sa comment. at wag nang nakakunot ang nuo. ang wrinkles mo, lalalim lalo.

    nagmamaldita pa rin,


  9. Tita Ternie,

    Salamat sa payong kaibigan. Pinabotox ko na ang mga wrinkles kes para chiz whiz na ang chaka.

    Happy weekend.


    Caritas Manila

  10. aww, if i am that person, my heart is prolly swelling big enough to kill me. ang sweet and sad and everything in between.

  11. dear caridad vda. de manila,

    para kang si alma moreno sa "the rape of virginia p." mayaman ka rin pala. mahal kasi ang botox. nagtyatyaga lang ako sa kung kani-kanino para magpa-facial.

    ipahid lang ng maigi sa mukha, patuyuin sa harap ng electric fan, at hugasan ng lukewarm water. magiging banayad at banat ng husto ang mukha mo. pero ingat lang na wag talsikan sa mata (kasi mahapdi) o kaya butas ng ilong (nakakaluod pag nasinghot).

    tmi na ako.

    naghahanap ng magfa-facial sa kanya tonight,

    tia ternie

    Arkin: aaaaaw thanks :D