Lola

My grandmother is 86 but if you ask her how old she is, she will say she is 80. She will not remember the times after 80. She might even have forgotten what happened the year she was 75.

Sometimes she forgets I have a ten year old sister and she looks at her and says, is this your daughter? And my sister, she looks amused at my grandmother, who looks at me.

And I tell her that I have no daughters and then she asks, did you get married already? And I look at my wife who looks at my grandmother who is looking at me, her face innocent.

Is this your wife? She is beautiful. ‘Gi poyo-i gud, nonoy’ and she looks at me proudly because we both know I overachieved.

Give it half a day and she’ll ask the same questions again. She’ll tug at my sister’s arm and ask, are you Mark’s daughter? And she’ll look at my wife, I can’t see you in the dark inday, come close so I can meet you. She’ll forget her way back home and the days after the day she turned 85.

But she remembers me and she asks me, do you remember when you were young, nonoy? Your mother had to travel and we were always together. We went to the market and Rawis. Back then you would say Rawit, rawit and you slept in my arms.

I say, of course I remember, lola. And she looks very pleased even though the truth is, these memories have gone quite faint.

You know, nonoy, a woman who is 80 years old shouldn’t be travelling from Samar to Cebu. I thought you had forgotten, so I came here to see you.

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