Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Good Morning

‘Doy, uuwi kaming Bilar sa Tuesday,” my mom greeted me yesterday morning. In an instant I knew something was wrong. From her relaxed demeanor I concluded it has nothing to do with her or any one in the immediate family. I then thought of two aunts, both sick—one was in Tagbilaran recovering from a massive stroke, the other in the U.S. dying of colon cancer.

Balik kami sa Thursday,” she said, then kept quiet. She was obviously waiting for me to react. I guess she wanted to know if I already knew. I guess I had to fess up.

Ano? Bakit?” I mumbled in my half-asleep state.

Libing ni Tiya S,” she said. Oh. So it’s Tiya S. who picked the lottery ticket. She’s my mom’s cousin, the one with the colon cancer. I only met her a couple of times before she migrated to the U.S.; I don’t think I was more than 10 then. It was my sister who got pretty close to her when she and my parents visited them in the States several years ago. My mom and her cousins were pretty close because they grew up as a barkada.

It was late last year when she was first diagnosed. The cancer launched a very vicious attack. By early January she was already confined in a hospital. Last month the doctors notified her family that they were just counting days.

Still, to hear that she’s finally left was quite a shock, especially if sleep hadn’t entirely left my eyes. I sat down to digest the news.

Feeling I had to say something, I decided to tell her the only piece of news I could think of: “Balik ninyo sa Thursday? Sa Friday naman ang alis ko. Boracay,” I said, rubbing my eyes awake.

It was my mom’s turn to be surprised: “O! Boracay?” she paused. Then she smiled, “Wow.”

“It’s just work,” I shrugged it aside, and fell silent.

I tried to remember what Tiya S looked like, but couldn’t.

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