Making Up for Lost Time

I spent 21 years with a love-and-hate relationship with my parents. If you have read my past blogs in the “Middle Child” category, you would know what kind of relationship we had.

It was not the ideal relationship between parents and their children.

Three years had passed and we have all moved on. We both knew our faults, and we tried to fill in the times we lost.

Somehow, I am thankful for success. I am not ashamed to admit that how much you earn tells you how successful you are—though of course, not at all times. At least for a person who grew up with debts and threats of losing her education, being able to save and being able to share happiness through foods, gifts and others is a strangely satisfying feeling.

Well of course, I know that these are temporary.

Life on Earth is temporary.

I could not even remember the first time I heard the word “die” or “death.” All I know was my parents used to say, “paano pag namatay na lang kami ano na lang gagawin niyo?” (what if we die, what’ll you do?)

Sadly, I grew up thinking of this every single day.

Worse, these thoughts visit me frequently nowadays.

There was a time when my mother woke me to tell me she was about to go to the office. Half-awake, I spread my arms and hugged her tight. There was also this time when I cried after seeing the wrinkles on my father’s forehead. The ratio of white to black hair is 3:1, and their bones are starting to fail them. I randomly sent messages of “labyu” to my brothers one time just because I miss them, and of course they replied, “anong nakain mo?” (what have you eaten?)

Taken last December 25, 2014
Taken last December 25, 2014

Depression? I don’t know. Or longing.

I began thinking of an empty house: mama isn’t there to sew clothes while cooking; papa isn’t there to watch TV; Kuya isn’t there to play on his computer; my youngest brother isn’t there to watch his favorite series; and the dogs aren’t barking anymore.

Then I realized that it is still full, though the thought that it will be empty someday still remains. This is the reason why I want to spoil them while there’s time. The three of us have graduated from college now, and it’s payback time. Not that I’m “paying them back” just because they raised me, but because I wanted to.

I wanted to fill in all the times they’ve lost me, and all the times I’ve lost them… because I’m getting older, and so are they.

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