A Day of Sadness

I am scatter-brained today and there’s a little ache in my heart.

This morning I learned that my aunt died last night. She was old and full of years. I didn’t get the chance to know her better in these later years.  She was the oldest sister of my Mum and one of the toughest. She managed to get my much older cousins through college and helped them earn their degrees through sheer hard work and determination as a simple but strict laundry-woman.  I don’t think she finished elementary school. But she managed to get her children through school all by herself.

My Mama turned to her when we needed money. I remember going with my mum to their humble rented home in Quezon City and asking for some money for us. And this with my father working overseas at that time and earning much more than my aunt ever did. Such irony.

Some things just don’t make sense in this life.

My aunt got through life by looking it squarely in the face and not buckling down. My maternal grandparents were farmers. My grandmother also worked as a “manghihilot” in their rural hometown on the side. Toughness with compassion ran in my aunt’s blood.

When my cousin (about 10 years older than me), her youngest son, had a stroke a few years back, she faced it with the same toughness she faced all the challenges in her life, until my cousin eventually passed away.

Some things just don’t make sense in this life.

My aunt also had a wicked sense of humour. I think this helped her get through life, too. I remember going with my Ma to a get-together her sisters organized. My aunts were simple women raised in the province. They drank Ginebra San Miguel straight without any chaser and laughed their sorrows and problems away. She often told Mama to lighten up. Mama didn’t drink because of my Pa’s own drinking problems but she would eventually join them as they laughed and drank and laughed some more.

Some things just don’t make sense in this life.

And now she’s gone to be with her son and her Maker.

If there’s one thing I learned from her, it’s to be tough when life gets you down and be sensitive when the heart speaks.

Farewell to a remarkable woman.


8 thoughts on “A Day of Sadness”

  1. Hi Mary,
    I was sorry to read about your aunt. She does sound like a remarkable woman, and you paint a vivid picture of her. Wishing you comfort. At those times when I felt sadness in my life or the sorrow of the world, I would hug my kids, and feel the love–somehow it made it easier to remember the good in this world as well.
    Best wishes,

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